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Bioconjug Chem. 2009 Aug 19;20(8):1497-502. doi: 10.1021/bc900215b. Epub 2009 Jul 8.

Inhibition of herpes simplex virus type 1 infection by silver nanoparticles capped with mercaptoethane sulfonate.

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Department of Chemistry, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel.


Interactions between biomolecules and nanoparticles suggest the use of nanoparticles for various medical interventions. The attachment and entry of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) into cells involve interaction between viral envelope glycoproteins and cell surface heparan sulfate (HS). Based on this mechanism, we designed silver nanoparticles that are capped with mercaptoethane sulfonate (Ag-MES). These nanoparticles are predicted to target the virus and to compete for its binding to cellular HS through their sulfonate end groups, leading to the blockage of viral entry into the cell and to the prevention of subsequent infection. Structurally defined Ag-MES nanoparticles that are readily redispersible in water were sonochemically synthesized. No toxic effects of these nanoparticles on host cells were observed. Effective inhibition of HSV-1 infection in cell culture by the capped nanoparticles was demonstrated. However, application of the soluble surfactant MES failed to inhibit viral infection, implying that the antiviral effect of Ag-MES nanoparticles is imparted by their multivalent nature and spatially directed MES on the surface. Our results suggest that capped nanoparticles may serve as useful topical agents for the prevention of infections with pathogens dependent on HS for entry.

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