Virus-like nanoparticles encapsulating purposeful riboswitches lock-in poisonous metabolites.
The researchers exploit the self-assembly of MS2 bacteriophage coat protein dimers into an icosahedral virus-like particle (VLP) pushed by an RNA stem-loop construction for riboswitch encapsulation. Particularly, they designed a double expression plasmid that codes for the MS2 coat protein dimer comprising of a riboswitch RNA sequence on the 5′ finish. When transfected into E. coli cells, this plasmid produces homogenous VLPs of ~30 nm in diameter, encapsulating the riboswitch. This renders the encapsulated riboswitch immune to nucleases and confers long-term storage stability for as much as 9 months at 4 °C. “Our lab has the know-how on manufacturing of self-assembled, nucleic acid encapsulated VLPs. On high of that, the intensive groundwork on MS2-capsid-based VLPs as engineered nanocarriers was already laid4; thus, MS2 was the plain alternative”, explains Ehud Gazit, the corresponding creator of the research.
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