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Obtaining and characterization of virus-like particles of novel RNA phages



Project Title: „Obtaining and characterization of virus-like particles of novel RNA phages”           

Funding: European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Measure “Industry-Driven Research”

Project Nr.:

Period: 1st April 2017 – 31 st March 2020

Project costs: 648 640, 00 EUR 

Principle Investigator: Dr. biol. K. Tārs 


Virus-like particles (VLPs) are non-infectious protein shells assembled from viral coat proteins (CPs) with a variety of applications in both fundamental and applied research. VLPs of ssRNA phages have been widely utilized for creation of new vaccines, as nanocontainers for targeted drug delivery and for bio-imaging purposes, but the currently available range of ssRNA CPs is too limited for further developments in the field. During the project, we aim to produce VLPs from more than 50 new ssRNA phage CPs that have been recently identified in metagenomic datasets. Depending on the properties of the novel VLPs, including expression level, thermal stability and sequence variations of the CPs, we plan to select at least five candidates for thorough characterization, which will include development of effective VLP production and purification protocols, determination of the three-dimensional structure of the VLPs and exploration of VLP tolerance to chemical and genetic modification. The planned project duration is 36 months with a total cost of 648640 EUR. The project is expected to provide both fundamental knowledge about virus structure and evolution as well as fuel the next generation of ssRNA phage VLP-based vaccine development.

Information published: 03.04.2017.

Until 30.06.2017 the following has been achieved:

  • · 40 genes of phage coat proteins (CPs) in expression plasmids obtained
  • · Expression level and solubility checked for 2 constructs; EM pictures of VLPs for both constructs obtained
  • · 2 VLPs obtained and characterized
  • · 1 VLP crystallized
  • · Structure determination of 1 VLP in progress

Information published: 30.06.2017.

Mājas lapas izstrādi finansēja ERAF aktivitātes projekts Nr. 2010/0196/2DP/ "Latvijas biomedicīnas pētījumu integrācija Eiropas zinātnes telpā".