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Prevention and treatment of autoimmune diseases with plant virus nanoparticles
Tuesday, 2020/05/26 | 08:22:20

Roberta Zampieri, Annalisa Brozzetti, Eva Pericolini, Elena Bartoloni, Elena Gabrielli, George Lomonosoff, Yulia Meshcheriakova, Luca Santi, Francesca Imperatori, Matilde Merlin, Elisa Tinazzi, Francesco Dotta,  Laura Nigi,  Guido Sebastiani,  Mario Pezzotti,  Alberto Falorni3 and  Linda Avesani

Science Advances  06 May 2020: Vol. 6, no. 19, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz0295


Plant viruses are natural, self-assembling nanostructures with versatile and genetically programmable shells, making them useful in diverse applications ranging from the development of new materials to diagnostics and therapeutics. Here, we describe the design and synthesis of plant virus nanoparticles displaying peptides associated with two different autoimmune diseases. Using animal models, we show that the recombinant nanoparticles can prevent autoimmune diabetes and ameliorate rheumatoid arthritis. In both cases, this effect is based on a strictly peptide-related mechanism in which the virus nanoparticle acts both as a peptide scaffold and as an adjuvant, showing an overlapping mechanism of action. This successful preclinical testing could pave the way for the development of plant viruses for the clinical treatment of human autoimmune diseases.


See https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/19/eaaz0295

Fig. 1 Characterization of pVNPs derived from CPMV.

Wild-type particles (wt CPMV) and particles displaying the p524opt peptide (CPMV.p524opt) were characterized and compared after purification from N. benthamiana leaves. Gel electrophoresis under denaturing conditions was followed by (A) silver staining and (B) Western blot analysis to assess the purity of the particles. The small subunit (S) and large subunit (L) were detected in both cases. The structural conformation of the purified particles was confirmed by TEM (C and D) and DLS analysis (E).

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