• (

    CPMV Illustration

    SOURCE

    March, 2016

    Nanowerk News) Viruses aren’t always bad. In fact, scientists can harness the capabilities of some viruses for good–modifying the viruses to carry drug molecules, for example.

    One useful virus has been cowpea mosaic virus (CPMV), a plant pathogen that can be modified to aid in tumor detection and even chemotherapy.In a new study, published online ahead of print in the journal Structure (“Crystal Structure and Proteomics Analysis of Empty Virus-like Particles of Cowpea Mosaic Virus”), researchers at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) report that, based on its structure, a hollowed-out version of CPMV could also be effective in human therapies.”By studying the structure of the viral particles, we can get important information for transforming this plant virus into a useful therapeutic,” said TSRI Associate Professor Vijay Reddy, senior author of the study.

    A new study shows that a hollowed-out version of cowpea mosaic virus could be useful in human therapies. (Image: The Scripps Research Institute)An ‘Empty’ VirusTSRI researchers have studied CPMV for decades. In fact, the structure of the virus was first determined in the lab of TSRI Professor Jack Johnson, who also served as a co-author on the new study.CPMV is an especially useful drug delivery agent because it has about 300 different sites on its external and internal surfaces where researchers can attach molecules. Because CPMV is a plant virus, it is harmless to humans. To eliminate any lingering concerns of viral genomes entering the human body, scientists have created “empty” versions of CPMV, called eVLPs (empty virus-like particles), which lack the virus’s genetic material.”The eVLP is no longer a virus; it is just a protein capsule,” explained Reddy.The question has been whether eVLPs of CPMV retain the same structure in the absence of viral genome as natural CPMV viral particles.Able to Carry the LoadIn the new study, Reddy and his colleagues used an imaging technique called x-ray crystallography to create a high-resolution image of the 3D structure of CPMV eVLPs.The image showed the structures of eVLP particles are very similar to CPMV particles, giving scientists the go-ahead to use the same modification strategies on both. This finding was in sync with a previous study showing eVLPs at a lower resolution.The current study also revealed a new detail on both eVLPs and CPMV virus particles. Mass-spectrometry-based proteomics analysis identified multiple proteolytic cleavage sites–a spot where amino acids are cut off–on one of the proteins on the particle surface. Previous research had indicated only one such cleavage site in this region, not three. With the new information, researchers know not to add crucial molecules to those amino acids in case they get clipped off too.Reddy said the new study opens the door to future research on using eVLPs to carry drug molecules and designing customized vaccines.

    Source: Scripps Research Institute
     
     

    No comments

    Be the first one to leave a comment.

    Post a Comment


     

     

    Latest Posts

    Latest Video

     
     

    LATEST POSTS

    Catalia Health uses social robots to improve health outcomes

    Credit: Catalia Health SOURCE Catalia Health is leading the surge in social robotics, with Mabu, their patient care management system. Catalia…

    Ambry Genetics’ Big Data Sharing Program Now Available for Public Download

    SOURCE (So, WHY is this important?  Sounds like good Hangout fodder for the person that wants to know!) January 19,…

    Big data serves patients and people in increasingly broad ways

    Personal Connected Health Alliance executive vice president Patty Mechael explains how genomics, fitness devices and other wearables are engaging people…

    The Long Quest To Create Artificial Blood May Soon Be Over

    A drop of blood drips off a needle. Image Source via Getty Images SOURCE Blood, blood everywhere — but not…

    ‘5-D protein fingerprinting’ with nanopores could give insights into Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s

    SOURCE Jan 17, 2017 (Nanowerk News) In research that could one day lead to advances against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s…

    A multichannel smartphone optical biosensor for high-throughput point-of-care diagnostics

    SOURCE This smartphone add-on claims to detect cancer with 99% accuracy There’s an app for that. Researchers have developed a…

    Nanoparticles awaken immune cells to fight cancer

    An artist’s conception of nanoparticles targeting tumor cells. Nicolle R. Fuller/Science Source SOURCE Tiny nanoparticles, far smaller than the width…

    Toward a ‘smart’ patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

      SOURCE (Nanowerk News) Treatment for certain diabetes cases involves constant monitoring of blood-glucose levels and daily insulin shots. But…