Research Progress

Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) Made Big Progress in Research of Virus Bi-specific Fluorescence Labeling and Single-particle Tracking

Date:15-07-2013   |   【Print】 【close

Recently, a team led by Prof. Wang Hanzhong of WIV made big progress in research of virus labeling by Nano material for the visibility of interaction between the virus and host cell. Relevant article has been published on the academic journal Biomaterials.
Virus single-particle labeling and tracking technology offers us new perspective into the interaction between virus and its host cell. Now the process in which fluorescence-labeled virus infiltrating the host cell can be visually revealed on video display. This provides direct proof for unveiling the invasion mechanism of virus.

The unique optical and biological features of new nano-material quantum dot provides us with excellent tool for virology research. Traditional quantum dot labeling method is to directly apply chemical modification on the virus protein and connect it with quantum dot. This process is complicated and will affect the infectivity of virus. Especially for togavirus, the single-particle tracking of virus envelope or nucleocapsid is susceptible to noise signal interference, and it is impossible to reveal the entire process of virus’s invasion into host cell.

This research uses baculovirus as target of labeling. On the basis of baculovirus surface display technology and fusion expression technology, and without any chemical modification or change to the protein of baculovirus, the envelope protein GP64 and nucleocapsid protein VP39 of baculovirus is labeled as target. At the same time, fusion expression of bi-specific labeling and GP64 protein is carried out to realize biotinylation of virus. On the basis of interaction between streptavidin and biotin, quantum dot is labeled on the virus envelope after extracorporal conjugation reaction. At the same time, fusion expression of GFP protein is realized on nucleocapsid protein, and specific labeling is accomplished on nucleocapsid of virus during virus encapsulation. Experiment results indicate that this labeling strategy can realize biotinylation and bi-specific labeling during reproduction of virus, and the labeling process has no influence on virus infectivity. The bi-color labeling fluorescence can help us to observe the interaction between single-particle infectivity tracking virus and the host cell. This biological labeling method can provide us more information on interaction between virus and host cell by single-particle virus and long-time tracking, and can be used as a platform for further research on virus infection process.

In last few years, several papers of this research team concerning QDs virus labeling and single-particle dynamic tracking in live cell have been published on Angewandte Chemie International Edition, ACS NANO, Biomaterials, Analytical Chemistry and other high profile journals. Recently, Nanomedicine-UK invited the research team to write a review titled Tracking Viral Infection: Will Quantum Dot Encapsulation Unveil Viral Mechanisms. The article systematically reviews the progress and problems in research of QDs virus labeling and dynamic tracking. The paper will be published on volume 2013.8(8) of Nanomedicine-UK.