Structurally plastic peptide capsules for synthetic antimicrobial viruses

Valeria Castelletto, Emiliana De Santis, Hasan Alkassem, Baptiste Lamarre, James E. Noble, Santanu Ray, Angelo Bella, Jonathan R. Burns, Bart W. Hoogenboom, Maxim G. Ryadnov

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    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.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1707-1711
    Number of pages5
    JournalChemical Science
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2015


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