3D Protein Structure Aids Search for Vaccine


Human metapneumovirus (hMPV) is a frequent cause of bronchitis in young children, but vaccine development has been hindered by an inability to produce the hMPV F glycoprotein, which mediates virus–cell membrane fusion and is the primary target of neutralizing antibodies.

Using cryogenic macromolecular crystallography and modeling based on the known structure of a homologous molecule, scientists revealed the 3D structure of the hMPV F glycoprotein.

This new knowledge about the viral structure should facilitate development of effective hMPV vaccine candidates.


M. Battles, V. Más, E. Olmedillas, O. Cano, M. Vázquez, L. Rodríguez, J. Melero, & J. McLellan. “Structure and immunogenicity of pre-fusion-stabilized human metapneumovirus F glycoprotein,” Nat Commun 8, 1528 (2017). DOI: [10.1038/s41467-017-01708-9]