Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2008 Oct 2;3(10):e3315. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003315.

Chemical addressability of ultraviolet-inactivated viral nanoparticles (VNPs).

Author information

  • 1Department of Cell Biology, and Center for Integrative Molecular Biosciences, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California, USA.



Cowpea Mosaic Virus (CPMV) is increasingly being used as a nanoparticle platform for multivalent display of molecules via chemical bioconjugation to the capsid surface. A growing variety of applications have employed the CPMV multivalent display technology including nanoblock chemistry, in vivo imaging, and materials science. CPMV nanoparticles can be inexpensively produced from experimentally infected cowpea plants at high yields and are extremely stable. Although CPMV has not been shown to replicate in mammalian cells, uptake in mammalian cells does occur in vitro and in vivo. Thus, inactivation of the virus RNA genome is important for biosafety considerations, however the surface characteristics and chemical reactivity of the particles must be maintained in order to preserve chemical and structural functionality.


Short wave (254 nm) UV irradiation was used to crosslink the RNA genome within intact particles. Lower doses of UV previously reported to inactivate CPMV infectivity inhibited symptoms on inoculated leaves but did not prohibit systemic virus spread in plants, whereas higher doses caused aggregation of the particles and an increase in chemical reactivity further indicating broken particles. Intermediate doses of 2.0-2.5 J/cm(2) were shown to maintain particle structure and chemical reactivity, and cellular binding properties were similar to CPMV-WT.


These studies demonstrate that it is possible to inactivate CPMV infectivity while maintaining particle structure and function, thus paving the way for further development of CPMV nanoparticles for in vivo applications.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk