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Structure and Function of RSV Surface Glycoproteins

The two major glycoproteins on the surface of the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) virion, the attachment glycoprotein (G) and the fusion glycoprotein (F), control the initial phases of infection. G targets the ciliated cells of the airways, and F causes the virion membrane to fuse with the target cell membrane. The F protein is the major target for antiviral drug development, and both G and F glycoproteins are the antigens targeted by neutralizing antibodies induced by infection. In this chapter, we review the structure and function of the RSV surface glycoproteins, including recent X-ray crystallographic data of the F glycoprotein in its pre- and postfusion conformations, and discuss how this information informs antigen selection and vaccine development.

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