A spectroscopic characterization is given of the isometric RNA-containing chicory yellow mottle virus. The circular dichroism of the virus is close to the sum of that of the native RNA and protein components. The nucleic acid structure is formed by regions of single-chain stacked-base helices similar to that of poly(A) at neutral pH, and short double-helical loops, while the conformation of the capsid is largely accounted for by regions of β-form and random-chain structures.

The heat-induced dissociation of virus nucleoprotein occurs concomitantly with destabilization of the orderly structures of the protein moiety, indicating that only minor interactions between RNA and protein occur. It is suggested that interactions between RNA and protein could involve some aromatic residues of the capsid and the heterocyclic bases of the nucleic acid.


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