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Modular Protein Cages for Size-Selective RNA Packaging in Vivo
Journal of the American Chemical Society ( IF 14.357 ) Pub Date : 2018-01-03 , DOI: 10.1021/jacs.7b10798
Yusuke Azuma, Thomas G. W. Edwardson, Naohiro Terasaka, Donald Hilvert

Protein cages have recently emerged as an important platform for nanotechnology development. Of the naturally existing protein cages, viruses are among the most efficient nanomachines, overcoming various barriers to achieve component replication and efficient self-assembly in complex biological milieu. We have designed an artificial system that can carry out the most basic steps of viral particle assembly in vivo. Our strategy is based on patchwork capsids formed from Aquifex aeolicus lumazine synthase and a circularly permuted variant with appended cationic peptides. These two-component protein containers self-assemble in vivo, capturing endogenous RNA molecules in a size-selective manner. By varying the number and design of the RNA-binding peptides displayed on the lumenal surface, the length of guest RNA can be further controlled. Using a fluorescent aptamer, we also show that short-lived RNA species are captured by the protein cage. This platform has potential as a model system for investigating virus assembly, as well as developing RNA regulation or sampling tools to augment biotechnology.
更新日期:2018-01-03

 

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