Nanoparticle encapsidation of Flock House virus by auto assembly of Tobacco Mosaic virus coat protein

Payal D. Maharaj, Jyothi K. Mallajosyula, Gloria Lee, Phillip Thi, Yiyang Zhou, Christopher M. Kearney, Alison A. McCormick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Tobacco Mosaic virus (TMV) coat protein is well known for its ability to self-assemble into supramolecular nanoparticles, either as protein discs or as rods originating from the ~300 bp genomic RNA origin-of-assembly (OA). We have utilized TMV self-assembly characteristics to create a novel Flock House virus (FHV) RNA nanoparticle. FHV encodes a viral polymerase supporting autonomous replication of the FHV genome, which makes it an attractive candidate for viral transgene expression studies and targeted RNA delivery into host cells. However, FHV viral genome size is strictly limited by native FHV capsid. To determine if this packaging restriction could be eliminated, FHV was adapted to express enhanced green fluorescent protein (GFP), to allow for monitoring of functional FHV RNA activity. Then TMV OA was introduced in six 3' insertion sites, with only site one supporting functional FHV GFP expression. To create nanoparticles, FHV GFP-OA modified genomic RNA was mixed in vitro with TMV coat protein and monitored for encapsidation by agarose electrophoresis and electron microscopy. The production of TMV-like rod shaped nanoparticles indicated that modified FHV RNA can be encapsidated by purified TMV coat protein by self-assembly. This is the first demonstration of replication-independent packaging of the FHV genome by protein self-assembly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18540-18556
Number of pages17
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 14 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Encapsidation
  • Flock House virus
  • Nanoparticle
  • Self-assembly
  • Tobacco Mosaic virus
  • Transgene expression
  • Viral vector

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Nanoparticle encapsidation of Flock House virus by auto assembly of Tobacco Mosaic virus coat protein'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this