|Title||Reprogramming Virus Coat Protein Carboxylate Interactions for the Patterned Assembly of Hierarchical Nanorods.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2021|
|Authors||Brown, AD, Chu, S, Kappagantu, M, Ghodssi, R, Culver, JN|
|Date Published||2021 Apr 22|
The self-assembly system of the rod-shaped tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) has been studied extensively for nanoscale applications. TMV coat protein assembly is modulated by intersubunit carboxylate groups whose electrostatic repulsion limits the assembly of virus rods without incorporating genomic RNA. To engineer assembly control into this system, we reprogrammed intersubunit carboxylate interactions to produce self-assembling coat proteins in the absence of RNA and in response to unique pH and ionic environmental conditions. Specifically, engineering a charge attraction at the intersubunit E50-D77 carboxylate group through a D77K substitution stabilized the coat proteins assembly into virus-like rods. In contrast, the reciprocal E50K modification alone did not confer virus-like rod assembly. However, a combination of R46G/E50K/E97G substitutions enabled virus-like rod assembly. Interestingly, the D77K substitution displays a unique pH-dependent assembly-disassembly profile, while the R46G/E50K/E97G substitutions confer a novel salt concentration dependency for assembly control. In addition, these unique environmentally controlled coat proteins allow for the directed assembly and disassembly of chimeric virus-like rods both in solution and on substrate-attached seed rods. Combined, these findings provide a controllable means to assemble functionally discrete virus-like rods for use in nanotechnology applications.