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Issue 16, 2018
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Membrane-containing virus particles exhibit the mechanics of a composite material for genome protection

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Abstract

The protection of the viral genome during extracellular transport is an absolute requirement for virus survival and replication. In addition to the almost universal proteinaceous capsids, certain viruses add a membrane layer that encloses their double-stranded (ds) DNA genome within the protein shell. Using the membrane-containing enterobacterial virus PRD1 as a prototype, and a combination of nanoindentation assays by atomic force microscopy and finite element modelling, we show that PRD1 provides a greater stability against mechanical stress than that achieved by the majority of dsDNA icosahedral viruses that lack a membrane. We propose that the combination of a stiff and brittle proteinaceous shell coupled with a soft and compliant membrane vesicle yields a tough composite nanomaterial well-suited to protect the viral DNA during extracellular transport.

Graphical abstract: Membrane-containing virus particles exhibit the mechanics of a composite material for genome protection

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Publication details

The article was received on 08 Jan 2018, accepted on 02 Mar 2018 and first published on 16 Apr 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8NR00196K
Citation: Nanoscale, 2018,10, 7769-7779
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY-NC license
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    Membrane-containing virus particles exhibit the mechanics of a composite material for genome protection

    S. Azinas, F. Bano, I. Torca, D. H. Bamford, G. A. Schwartz, J. Esnaola, H. M. Oksanen, R. P. Richter and N. G. Abrescia, Nanoscale, 2018, 10, 7769
    DOI: 10.1039/C8NR00196K

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