Plant viral particles as nanoscaffolds for controlled positioning

  • Michon, Thierry (Principal Investigator)
  • Carrette, Noëlle (Participant)
  • Cardinale, Daniela (Participant)
  • Besong, Jane (Participant)

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description (abstract)

This project pertains to the research field of solid phase supported biocatalysis
with potential applications in the microreactor and biosensor technologies. The intention is to study the possibilities to control the distribution of active enzymatic systems on solid supports. Although related to the field of academic research, the project’s outcomes intend to serve the technology of enzymatically assisted catalysis. The systems concerned are either constituted of a single enzyme, or of a couple of enzymes catalysing a cascade of two consecutive reactions. This later case illustrates an example of a simple bio-mimetic system inspired from the metabolic reaction pathways in living cells. The close spatial location of the two enzymes increases the reaction efficiency as the product released by the first enzyme will become the substrate of the second one. Recently one of the groups involved in this project demonstrated that using the natural resources of a
plant, it is possible to decorate the surface of a filamentous virus particle with an active lipase. The supramolecular assembly of capsid protein (CP) monomers allows formation of virus particles of quasi crystalline geometry. In order to fine tune the distribution of enzymes on surfaces, viral pseudo particles (VPPs) formed by two different types of plant viral CPs will be used as nanoscaffolds. A study to optimise particles as enzyme interfacing surfaces will be conducted. Specific anchoring sites able to bind the enzymes of interest will be introduced on CP monomers. Non-infectious particle-like structures will be reconstituted in vitro from modified CP’s expressed in recombinant bacterial systems. The structure of the enzymes will be modified to carry binding sites complementary to those engineered into the CPs. The enzymes for the study will be expressed in bacterial expression systems as well as via a virus vector in planta. The particles will be adsorbed on to solid supports with the aid of the functional chemical groups available on the VPP surfaces. Enzymes isolated from plant leaves and from microbial expression systems will be linked to the particles. The obtained surfaces will be characterized for enzyme distribution and catalytic efficiency.
Effective start/end date01/09/200931/12/2012


  • Academy of Finland: €248,590.00

Fields of Science

  • 1183 Plant biology, microbiology, virology