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Title: Probing and pressing surfaces of hepatitis C virus-like particles.
Austin Authors: Collett, Simon;Torresi, Joseph ;Earnest-Silveira, Linda;Christiansen, Dale;Elbourne, Aaron;Ramsland, Paul A 
Affiliation: Department of Surgery, Austin Health, The University of Melbourne, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010, Australia
School of Science, College of Science, Engineering and Health, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia
Department of Immunology, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC 3004, Australia
Issue Date: Jun-2019 2019-03-11
Publication information: Journal of colloid and interface science 2019; 545: 259-268
Abstract: Hepatitis C virus-like particles (VLPs) are being developed as a quadrivalent vaccine candidate, eliciting both humoral and cellular immune responses in animal trials. Biophysical, biomechanical and biochemical properties are important for virus and VLP interactions with host cells and recognition by the immune system. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is a powerful tool for visualizing surface topographies of cells, bionanoparticles and biomolecules, and for determining biophysical and biomechanical attributes such as size and elasticity. In this work, AFM was used to define morphological and nanomechanical properties of VLPs representing four common genotypes of hepatitis C virus. Significant differences in size of the VLPs were observed, and particles demonstrated a wide range of elasticity. Ordered packing of the core and potentially envelope glycoproteins was observed on the surfaces of the VLPs, but detailed structural characterization was hindered due to intrinsic dynamic fluctuations or AFM probe-induced damage of the VLPs. All VLPs were shown to be glycosylated in a manner similar to native viral particles. Together, the results presented in this study further our understanding of the nanostructure of hepatitis C VLPs, and should influence their uptake as viable vaccine candidates.
DOI: 10.1016/j.jcis.2019.03.022
ORCID: 0000-0002-2107-2738
PubMed URL: 30897421
Type: Journal Article
Subjects: Atomic force microscopy
Enveloped virus-like particles
Vaccine development
Young’s elastic modulus
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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