The drug delivery system described here is based on a virus like particle consisting of the recombinant expressed major capsid protein of Polyomavirus, VP1. Polyoma, a murine virus belonging to the Papovaviridae, forms a non-enveloped icosahedral capsid. These capsids are organized as a double shell composed of three different proteins: VP1,VP2 and VP3. The outer shell of the vision is composed of 360 VP1 molecules arranged as 72 pentamers. These capsids have a diameter of about 50 nm. The VP1 protein acts as a major ligand for certain membrane receptors during virus infection. Furthermore, the N-terminus of the VP1 protein contains a DNA-binding domain and a nuclear localization sequence. The recombinant production of the VP1 protein offers a save way to obtain a highly purified, non-pathogenic pharmaceutical excipient. Combining these aspects, VP1 proteins provide a targeting as well as a drug binding site when used as a save drug carrier for gene therapy. Current applications are also including oligonucleotides as well as small molecules as well as vaccines.
Keywords: artificial virus, virus like particle, vp1 capsids, drug delivery system
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