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us particle consists of ten strands of double-stranded RNA surrounded by two protein shells. Unlike other arboviruses, BTV lacks a lipid envelope. The particle has a diameter of 86 nm. The structure of the 70 nm core was determined in 1998 and was at the time the largest atomic structure to be solved. The two outer capsid proteins, VP2 and VP5, mediate attachment and penetration of BTV into the target cell. The virus makes initial contact with the cell with VP2, triggering receptor-mediated endocytosis of the virus. The low pH within the endosome then triggers BTV's membrane penetration protein VP5 to undergo a conformational change that disrupts the endosomal membrane. Uncoating yields a transcriptionally active 470S core particle which is composed of two major proteins VP7 and VP3, and the three minor proteins VP1, VP4 and VP6 in addition to the dsRNA genome. There is no evidence that any trace of the outer capsid remains as
sociated with these cores, as has been described for reovirus. The cores may be further uncoated to form 390S subcore particles that lack VP7, also in contrast to reovirus. Subviral particles are probably akin to cores derived in vitro from virions by physical or proteolytic treatments that remove the outer capsid and causes activation of the BTV transcriptase. In addition to the seven structural proteins, three non-structural (NS) proteins, NS1, NS2, NS3 (and a related NS3A) are synthesised in BTV-infected cells. Of these, NS3/NS3A is involved in the egress of the progeny virus. The two remaining non-structural prot