Creation of membrane protein-loaded viral replicas

Some natural viruses, such as influenza virus and coronavirus, are “enveloped viruses” in which the capsid is covered with a lipid bilayer. We have succeeded in creating “envelope-type artificial viral capsids” by complexing a cationic lipid bilayer to anionic artificial viral capsids, mimicking the natural envelope-type virus. We have also succeeded in creating a “viral replica” with a membrane protein “connexin” attached to the envelope by a cell-free expression system. Using this connexin-loaded viral replica, it is possible to transport substances into cells by gap junction formation. Currently, we are also working on the creation of viral replicas with spike proteins of coronavirus and hemagglutinins of influenza virus. This is expected to lead to the construction of cell-selective drug delivery systems and new vaccine materials.

Representative papers

  • Chem. Commun., 56, 7092-7095 (2020). Inside Back Cover
  • RSC Chem. Biol., 3, 231-241 (2022). Front Cover
  • J. Am. Chem. Soc., 145, 15838-15847 (2023). Supplementary Cover
  • Sci. Rep., 13, 19934 (2023).