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Quantum dot-induced viral capsid assembling in dissociation buffer

Authors Gao D, Zhang Z, Li F, Men D, Deng J, Wei H, Zhang X, Cui Z

Received 26 February 2013

Accepted for publication 31 March 2013

Published 5 June 2013 Volume 2013:8(1) Pages 2119—2128


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Ding Gao,1,2 Zhi-Ping Zhang,1 Feng Li,3 Dong Men,1 Jiao-Yu Deng,1 Hong-Ping Wei,1 Xian-En Zhang,1 Zong-Qiang Cui1

1State Key Laboratory of Virology, Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, 2Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 3Division of Nanobiomedicine and i-Lab, Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech and Nano-Bionics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Suzhou, People's Republic of China

Abstract: Viruses encapsulating inorganic nanoparticles are a novel type of nanostructure with applications in biomedicine and biosensors. However, the encapsulation and assembly mechanisms of these hybridized virus-based nanoparticles (VNPs) are still unknown. In this article, it was found that quantum dots (QDs) can induce simian virus 40 (SV40) capsid assembly in dissociation buffer, where viral capsids should be disassembled. The analysis of the transmission electron microscope, dynamic light scattering, sucrose density gradient centrifugation, and cryo-electron microscopy single particle reconstruction experimental results showed that the SV40 major capsid protein 1 (VP1) can be assembled into ≈25 nm capsids in the dissociation buffer when QDs are present and that the QDs are encapsulated in the SV40 capsids. Moreover, it was determined that there is a strong affinity between QDs and the SV40 VP1 proteins (KD = 2.19E-10 M), which should play an important role in QD encapsulation in the SV40 viral capsids. This study provides a new understanding of the assembly mechanism of SV40 virus-based nanoparticles with QDs, which may help in the design and construction of other similar virus-based nanoparticles.

Keywords: quantum dots, simian virus 40, self-assembly, encapsulation, virus-based nanoparticles

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