Capsid Protein

A special issue of Life (ISSN 2075-1729). This special issue belongs to the section "Proteins and Proteomics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2021) | Viewed by 63922

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Guest Editor
Emerging Viruses, Inflammation and Therapeutics Research Group, Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University, Gold Coast campus, QLD 4222, Australia
Interests: emerging viruses; arbovirus replication; viral pathogenesis; virus-induced inflammation; vaccine design; antivirals

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Guest Editor
MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research, 464 Bearsden Road, Glasgow G61 1QH, UK
Interests: viral RNA processing; HIV-1; RNA binding proteins; virus-host interaction; antivirals; innate immunity
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The virus capsid protein is classically a structural element of the virion responsible for encapsidation of the viral genome and nucleocapsid assembly. Capsid proteins are, however, known to play a multifunctional role in the virus replication cycle. Capsid proteins have been shown to modulate virus replication and disrupt host cell mechanisms, such as transcription, often blocking host cell defences. Subcellular trafficking is one mechanism used by capsid proteins that allows them to carry out a diverse range of nonstructural functions. Mostly an essential element of the virus repertoire and produced in large quantities during infection, capsid proteins are regularly targeted for antiviral development and vaccinology. Capsid proteins have also found utility in bioengineering, as nanoparticle delivery vehicles.

This Special Issue of Life seeks all types of manuscripts (e.g., reviews, original research articles, and short communications) on capsid protein, including articles describing recent structural, biochemical, and virological studies that have advanced our understanding of capsid protein.

Dr. Adam Taylor
Dr. Marko Noerenberg
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • capsid
  • virus
  • nucleocapsid
  • vaccine
  • antiviral
  • bioengineering

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

14 pages, 3012 KiB  
Article
Protein Secondary Structure Affects Glycan Clustering in Native Mass Spectrometry
by Hao Yan, Julia Lockhauserbäumer, Gergo Peter Szekeres, Alvaro Mallagaray, Robert Creutznacher, Stefan Taube, Thomas Peters, Kevin Pagel and Charlotte Uetrecht
Life 2021, 11(6), 554; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11060554 - 11 Jun 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2642
Abstract
Infection by the human noroviruses (hNoV), for the vast majority of strains, requires attachment of the viral capsid to histo blood group antigens (HBGAs). The HBGA-binding pocket is formed by dimers of the protruding domain (P dimers) of the capsid protein VP1. Several [...] Read more.
Infection by the human noroviruses (hNoV), for the vast majority of strains, requires attachment of the viral capsid to histo blood group antigens (HBGAs). The HBGA-binding pocket is formed by dimers of the protruding domain (P dimers) of the capsid protein VP1. Several studies have focused on HBGA binding to P dimers, reporting binding affinities and stoichiometries. However, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) and native mass spectrometry (MS) analyses yielded incongruent dissociation constants (KD) for the binding of HBGAs to P dimers and, in some cases, disagreed on whether glycans bind at all. We hypothesized that glycan clustering during electrospray ionization in native MS critically depends on the physicochemical properties of the protein studied. It follows that the choice of a reference protein is crucial. We analysed carbohydrate clustering using various P dimers and eight non-glycan binding proteins serving as possible references. Data from native and ion mobility MS indicate that the mass fraction of β-sheets has a strong influence on the degree of glycan clustering. Therefore, the determination of specific glycan binding affinities from native MS must be interpreted cautiously. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Capsid Protein)
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12 pages, 1556 KiB  
Article
An Engineered Maturation Cleavage Provides a Recombinant Mimic of Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus Capsid Assembly-Disassembly
by Joseph Newman, David J. Rowlands and Tobias J. Tuthill
Life 2021, 11(6), 500; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11060500 - 29 May 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3496
Abstract
Picornavirus capsids are assembled from 60 copies of a capsid precursor via a pentameric assembly intermediate or ‘pentamer’. Upon completion of virion assembly, a maturation event induces a final cleavage of the capsid precursor to create the capsid protein VP4, which is essential [...] Read more.
Picornavirus capsids are assembled from 60 copies of a capsid precursor via a pentameric assembly intermediate or ‘pentamer’. Upon completion of virion assembly, a maturation event induces a final cleavage of the capsid precursor to create the capsid protein VP4, which is essential for capsid stability and entry into new cells. For the picornavirus foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV), intact capsids are temperature and acid-labile and can disassemble into pentamers. During disassembly, capsid protein VP4 is lost, presumably altering the structure and properties of the resulting pentamers. The purpose of this study was to compare the characteristics of recombinant “assembly” and “disassembly” pentamers. We generated recombinant versions of these different pentamers containing an engineered cleavage site to mimic the maturation cleavage. We compared the sedimentation and antigenic characteristics of these pentamers using sucrose density gradients and reactivity with an antibody panel. Pentamers mimicking the assembly pathway sedimented faster than those on the disassembly pathway suggesting that for FMDV, in common with other picornaviruses, assembly pentamers sediment at 14S whereas only pentamers on the disassembly pathway sediment at 12S. The reactivity with anti-VP4 antibodies was reduced for the 12S pentamers, consistent with the predicted loss of VP4. Reactivity with other antibodies was similar for both pentamers suggesting that major antigenic features may be preserved between the VP4 containing assembly pentamers and the disassembly pentamers lacking VP4. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Capsid Protein)
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11 pages, 1258 KiB  
Article
Generation of Antibodies against Foot-and-Mouth-Disease Virus Capsid Protein VP4 Using Hepatitis B Core VLPs as a Scaffold
by Jessica Swanson, Rennos Fragkoudis, Philippa C. Hawes, Joseph Newman, Alison Burman, Anusha Panjwani, Nicola J. Stonehouse and Tobias J. Tuthill
Life 2021, 11(4), 338; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11040338 - 11 Apr 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3077
Abstract
The picornavirus foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) is the causative agent of the economically important disease of livestock, foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). VP4 is a highly conserved capsid protein, which is important during virus entry. Previous published work has shown that antibodies targeting the N-terminus [...] Read more.
The picornavirus foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) is the causative agent of the economically important disease of livestock, foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). VP4 is a highly conserved capsid protein, which is important during virus entry. Previous published work has shown that antibodies targeting the N-terminus of VP4 of the picornavirus human rhinovirus are broadly neutralising. In addition, previous studies showed that immunisation with the N-terminal 20 amino acids of enterovirus A71 VP4 displayed on the hepatitis B core (HBc) virus-like particles (VLP) can induce cross-genotype neutralisation. To investigate if a similar neutralising response against FMDV VP4 could be generated, HBc VLPs displaying the N-terminus of FMDV VP4 were designed. The N-terminal 15 amino acids of FMDV VP4 was inserted into the major immunodominant region. HBc VLPs were also decorated with peptides of the N-terminus of FMDV VP4 attached using a HBc-spike binding tag. Both types of VLPs were used to immunise mice and the resulting serum was investigated for VP4-specific antibodies. The VLP with VP4 inserted into the spike, induced VP4-specific antibodies, however the VLPs with peptides attached to the spikes did not. The VP4-specific antibodies could recognise native FMDV, but virus neutralisation was not demonstrated. This work shows that the HBc VLP presents a useful tool for the presentation of FMDV capsid epitopes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Capsid Protein)
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14 pages, 11167 KiB  
Article
Efficient Production of Chimeric Hepatitis B Virus-Like Particles Bearing an Epitope of Hepatitis E Virus Capsid by Transient Expression in Nicotiana benthamiana
by Gergana Zahmanova, Milena Mazalovska, Katerina Takova, Valentina Toneva, Ivan Minkov, Hadrien Peyret and George Lomonossoff
Life 2021, 11(1), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11010064 - 17 Jan 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 4278
Abstract
The core antigen of hepatitis B virus (HBcAg) is capable of self-assembly into virus-like particles (VLPs) when expressed in a number of heterologous systems. Such VLPs are potential carriers of foreign antigenic sequences for vaccine design. In this study, we evaluated the production [...] Read more.
The core antigen of hepatitis B virus (HBcAg) is capable of self-assembly into virus-like particles (VLPs) when expressed in a number of heterologous systems. Such VLPs are potential carriers of foreign antigenic sequences for vaccine design. In this study, we evaluated the production of chimeric HBcAg VLPs presenting a foreign epitope on their surface, the 551–607 amino acids (aa) immunological epitope of the ORF2 capsid protein of hepatitis E virus. A chimeric construct was made by the insertion of 56 aa into the immunodominant loop of the HBcAg. The sequences encoding the chimera were inserted into the pEAQ-HT vector and infiltrated into Nicotiana benthamiana leaves. The plant-expressed chimeric HBcHEV ORF2 551–607 protein was recognized by an anti-HBcAg mAb and anti-HEV IgG positive swine serum. Electron microscopy showed that plant-produced chimeric protein spontaneously assembled into “knobbly” ~34 nm diameter VLPs. This study shows that HBcAg is a promising carrier platform for the neutralizing epitopes of hepatitis E virus (HEV) and the chimeric HBcAg/HEV VLPs could be a candidate for a bivalent vaccine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Capsid Protein)
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Review

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32 pages, 1050 KiB  
Review
Plant-Derived Recombinant Vaccines against Zoonotic Viruses
by Gergana Zahmanova, Katerina Takova, Rumyana Valkova, Valentina Toneva, Ivan Minkov, Anton Andonov and Georgi L. Lukov
Life 2022, 12(2), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12020156 - 21 Jan 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 6509
Abstract
Emerging and re-emerging zoonotic diseases cause serious illness with billions of cases, and millions of deaths. The most effective way to restrict the spread of zoonotic viruses among humans and animals and prevent disease is vaccination. Recombinant proteins produced in plants offer an [...] Read more.
Emerging and re-emerging zoonotic diseases cause serious illness with billions of cases, and millions of deaths. The most effective way to restrict the spread of zoonotic viruses among humans and animals and prevent disease is vaccination. Recombinant proteins produced in plants offer an alternative approach for the development of safe, effective, inexpensive candidate vaccines. Current strategies are focused on the production of highly immunogenic structural proteins, which mimic the organizations of the native virion but lack the viral genetic material. These include chimeric viral peptides, subunit virus proteins, and virus-like particles (VLPs). The latter, with their ability to self-assemble and thus resemble the form of virus particles, are gaining traction among plant-based candidate vaccines against many infectious diseases. In this review, we summarized the main zoonotic diseases and followed the progress in using plant expression systems for the production of recombinant proteins and VLPs used in the development of plant-based vaccines against zoonotic viruses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Capsid Protein)
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18 pages, 547 KiB  
Review
In Vitro Assembly of Virus-Like Particles and Their Applications
by Dinh To Le and Kristian M. Müller
Life 2021, 11(4), 334; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11040334 - 10 Apr 2021
Cited by 42 | Viewed by 8890
Abstract
Virus-like particles (VLPs) are increasingly used for vaccine development and drug delivery. Assembly of VLPs from purified monomers in a chemically defined reaction is advantageous compared to in vivo assembly, because it avoids encapsidation of host-derived components and enables loading with added cargoes. [...] Read more.
Virus-like particles (VLPs) are increasingly used for vaccine development and drug delivery. Assembly of VLPs from purified monomers in a chemically defined reaction is advantageous compared to in vivo assembly, because it avoids encapsidation of host-derived components and enables loading with added cargoes. This review provides an overview of ex cella VLP production methods focusing on capsid protein production, factors that impact the in vitro assembly, and approaches to characterize in vitro VLPs. The uses of in vitro produced VLPs as vaccines and for therapeutic delivery are also reported. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Capsid Protein)
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12 pages, 293 KiB  
Review
Arthritogenic Alphavirus Capsid Protein
by Shambhavi Rao and Adam Taylor
Life 2021, 11(3), 230; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11030230 - 11 Mar 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2423
Abstract
In the past two decades Old World and arthritogenic alphavirus have been responsible for epidemics of polyarthritis, causing high morbidity and becoming a major public health concern. The multifunctional arthritogenic alphavirus capsid protein is crucial for viral infection. Capsid protein has roles in [...] Read more.
In the past two decades Old World and arthritogenic alphavirus have been responsible for epidemics of polyarthritis, causing high morbidity and becoming a major public health concern. The multifunctional arthritogenic alphavirus capsid protein is crucial for viral infection. Capsid protein has roles in genome encapsulation, budding and virion assembly. Its role in multiple infection processes makes capsid protein an attractive target to exploit in combating alphaviral infection. In this review, we summarize the function of arthritogenic alphavirus capsid protein, and describe studies that have used capsid protein to develop novel arthritogenic alphavirus therapeutic and diagnostic strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Capsid Protein)
15 pages, 2759 KiB  
Review
Structures and Divergent Mechanisms in Capsid Maturation and Stabilization Following Genome Packaging of Human Cytomegalovirus and Herpesviruses
by Clotilde Muller, Sophie Alain, Thomas F. Baumert, Gaëtan Ligat and Sébastien Hantz
Life 2021, 11(2), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11020150 - 16 Feb 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 4166
Abstract
Herpesviruses are the causative agents of several diseases. Infections are generally mild or asymptomatic in immunocompetent individuals. In contrast, herpesvirus infections continue to contribute to significant morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised patients. Few drugs are available for the treatment of human herpesvirus infections, [...] Read more.
Herpesviruses are the causative agents of several diseases. Infections are generally mild or asymptomatic in immunocompetent individuals. In contrast, herpesvirus infections continue to contribute to significant morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised patients. Few drugs are available for the treatment of human herpesvirus infections, mainly targeting the viral DNA polymerase. Moreover, no successful therapeutic options are available for the Epstein–Barr virus or human herpesvirus 8. Most licensed drugs share the same mechanism of action of targeting the viral polymerase and thus blocking DNA polymerization. Resistances to antiviral drugs have been observed for human cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex virus and varicella-zoster virus. A new terminase inhibitor, letermovir, recently proved effective against human cytomegalovirus. However, the letermovir has no significant activity against other herpesviruses. New antivirals targeting other replication steps, such as capsid maturation or DNA packaging, and inducing fewer adverse effects are therefore needed. Targeting capsid assembly or DNA packaging provides additional options for the development of new drugs. In this review, we summarize recent findings on capsid assembly and DNA packaging. We also described what is known about the structure and function of capsid and terminase proteins to identify novels targets for the development of new therapeutic options. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Capsid Protein)
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25 pages, 5919 KiB  
Review
Structure, Function, and Interactions of the HIV-1 Capsid Protein
by Eric Rossi, Megan E. Meuser, Camille J. Cunanan and Simon Cocklin
Life 2021, 11(2), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11020100 - 29 Jan 2021
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 18890
Abstract
The capsid (CA) protein of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is an essential structural component of a virion and facilitates many crucial life cycle steps through interactions with host cell factors. Capsid shields the reverse transcription complex from restriction factors while [...] Read more.
The capsid (CA) protein of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is an essential structural component of a virion and facilitates many crucial life cycle steps through interactions with host cell factors. Capsid shields the reverse transcription complex from restriction factors while it enables trafficking to the nucleus by hijacking various adaptor proteins, such as FEZ1 and BICD2. In addition, the capsid facilitates the import and localization of the viral complex in the nucleus through interaction with NUP153, NUP358, TNPO3, and CPSF-6. In the later stages of the HIV-1 life cycle, CA plays an essential role in the maturation step as a constituent of the Gag polyprotein. In the final phase of maturation, Gag is cleaved, and CA is released, allowing for the assembly of CA into a fullerene cone, known as the capsid core. The fullerene cone consists of ~250 CA hexamers and 12 CA pentamers and encloses the viral genome and other essential viral proteins for the next round of infection. As research continues to elucidate the role of CA in the HIV-1 life cycle and the importance of the capsid protein becomes more apparent, CA displays potential as a therapeutic target for the development of HIV-1 inhibitors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Capsid Protein)
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16 pages, 1598 KiB  
Review
Virus-Like Particle Mediated CRISPR/Cas9 Delivery for Efficient and Safe Genome Editing
by Pin Lyu, Luxi Wang and Baisong Lu
Life 2020, 10(12), 366; https://doi.org/10.3390/life10120366 - 21 Dec 2020
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 6612
Abstract
The discovery of designer nucleases has made genome editing much more efficient than before. The designer nucleases have been widely used for mechanistic studies, animal model generation and gene therapy development. However, potential off-targets and host immune responses are issues still need to [...] Read more.
The discovery of designer nucleases has made genome editing much more efficient than before. The designer nucleases have been widely used for mechanistic studies, animal model generation and gene therapy development. However, potential off-targets and host immune responses are issues still need to be addressed for in vivo uses, especially clinical applications. Short term expression of the designer nucleases is necessary to reduce both risks. Currently, various delivery methods are being developed for transient expression of designer nucleases including Zinc Finger Nuclease (ZNF), Transcription Activator-Like Effector Nuclease (TALEN) and Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats/CRISPR-associated (CRISPR/Cas). Recently, virus-like particles are being used for gene editing. In this review, we will talk through commonly used genome editing nucleases, discuss gene editing delivery tools and review the latest literature using virus-like particles to deliver gene editing effectors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Capsid Protein)
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