from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Plural form of capsomere.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The protein sub-units, which link up like Lego bricks to form the quaternary structure, are called capsomeres.
Now, Rossmann and a team of researchers from Purdue, the University of California at Irvine, and the University of the Mediterranean in Marseilles, France, have determined the basic design of the virus's outer shell, or capsid, and also of the hundreds of smaller units - called capsomeres - making up this outer shell.
The adenovirus in the middle has exactly 252 capsomeres, drawn here as little balls, arranged in an icosahedron.
The capsomeres are arranged into an icosahedron not by any kind of master plan or blueprint but simply by each one of them obeying the laws of chemical attraction locally when it bumps into others like itself.
The method works, provided that the 72 circles are pre-assembled into 12 clusters, each cluster consisting of a central circle surrounded by five others, like the petals of a flower, which suggests that the capsomeres in a polyoma virus are assembled in a similar sequence.
The outer sheath of many viruses consists of a number of identical subunits, or capsomeres, in a pattern related to a semi-regular polyhedron, i.e. a solid figure whose faces are all regular polygons, with the same arrangement of polygons at each vertex.