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Issue 3, 2016
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Structurally plastic peptide capsules for synthetic antimicrobial viruses

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A conceptual design for artificial antimicrobial viruses is described. The design emulates viral assembly and function to create self-assembling peptide capsules that promote efficient gene delivery and silencing in mammalian cells. Unlike viruses, however, the capsules are antimicrobial, which allows them to exhibit a dual biological function: gene transport and antimicrobial activity. Unlike other antimicrobials, the capsules act as pre-concentrated antimicrobial agents that elicit rapid and localised membrane-disrupting responses by converting into individual pores at their precise landing positions on membranes. The concept holds promise for engineering virus-like scaffolds with biologically tuneable properties.

Graphical abstract: Structurally plastic peptide capsules for synthetic antimicrobial viruses

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Publication details

The article was received on 31 Aug 2015, accepted on 17 Dec 2015 and first published on 21 Dec 2015

Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C5SC03260A
Citation: Chem. Sci., 2016,7, 1707-1711
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY-NC license
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    Structurally plastic peptide capsules for synthetic antimicrobial viruses

    V. Castelletto, E. de Santis, H. Alkassem, B. Lamarre, J. E. Noble, S. Ray, A. Bella, J. R. Burns, B. W. Hoogenboom and M. G. Ryadnov, Chem. Sci., 2016, 7, 1707
    DOI: 10.1039/C5SC03260A

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