The genetically and geographically diverse group of viruses within the family Arenaviridae includes a number of zoonotic pathogens capable of causing fatal hemorrhagic fever. The multisubunit GPC glycoprotein spike complex displayed on the arenavirus envelope is a key determinant of species tropism and a primary target of the host humoral immune response. Here, we show that the receptor-binding GP1 subcomponent of the GPC spike from Old World but not New World arenaviruses adopts a distinct, pH-independent conformation in the absence of the cognate GP2. Our analysis provides a structure-based approach to understanding the discrete conformational classes sampled by these therapeutically important targets, informing strategies to develop arenaviral glycoprotein immunogens that resemble GPC as presented on the mature virion surface.
Journal of Virology
American Society for Microbiology