Controlled Assembly of Viral Surface Proteins into Biological Nanoparticles
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In recent years, therapeutic use of engineered particles on the 1-1,000 nm scale has gained popularity; these nanoparticles have been developed for use in drug delivery, gene therapy, vaccine preparation, and diagnostics. Often, viral proteins are utilized in the design of such species, and outlined here are completed studies on the in vitro assembly of nanoparticles derived from two very different viral systems. The incorporation of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) envelope glycoprotein precursor gp160 into phospholipid bilayer nanodiscs is discussed as a potential platform for vaccine design; efforts were successful, however yield currently limits the practical application of this approach. The utility of bacteriophage lambda procapsids and virus-like particles in therapeutic nanoparticle design is also outlined, as are efforts toward the structural and thermodynamic characterization of a urea-triggered capsid maturation event. It is demonstrated that lambda virus-like particles can be assembled from purified capsid and scaffolding proteins, and that these particles undergo urea-triggered maturation and in vitro decoration protein addition similar to that seen in lambda procapsids. The studies on lambda provided materials for the further development of nanoparticles potentially useful in a clinical setting, as well as shedding light on critical viral assembly and maturation events as they may take place in vivo.
- Medicinal chemistry