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Sensors 2013, 13(7), 8722-8749;

Fluorosomes: Fluorescent Virus-Like Nanoparticles that Represent a Convenient Tool to Visualize Receptor-Ligand Interactions

Christian Doppler Laboratory for Immunomodulation, Vienna 1090, Austria
Center for Pathophysiology, Infectiology and Immunology, Institute of Immunology, Medical University of Vienna, Borschkegasse 8A, Vienna 1090, Austria
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 June 2013 / Revised: 28 June 2013 / Accepted: 5 July 2013 / Published: 8 July 2013
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Viruses are the smallest life forms and parasitize on many eukaryotic organisms, including humans. Consequently, the study of viruses and viral diseases has had an enormous impact on diverse fields of biology and medicine. Due to their often pathogenic properties, viruses have not only had a strong impact on the development of immune cells but also on shaping entire immune mechanisms in their hosts. In order to better characterize virus-specific surface receptors, pathways of virus entry and the mechanisms of virus assembly, diverse methods to visualize virus particles themselves have been developed in the past decades. Apart from characterization of virus-specific mechanisms, fluorescent virus particles also serve as valuable platforms to study receptor-ligand interactions. Along those lines the authors have developed non-infectious virus-like nanoparticles (VNP), which can be decorated with immune receptors of choice and used for probing receptor-ligand interactions, an especially interesting application in the field of basic but also applied immunology research. To be able to better trace receptor-decorated VNP the authors have developed technology to introduce fluorescent proteins into such particles and henceforth termed them fluorosomes (FS). Since VNP are assembled in a simple expression system relying on HEK-293 cells, gene-products of interest can be assembled in a simple and straightforward fashion—one of the reasons why the authors like to call fluorosomes ‘the poor-man’s staining tool’. Within this review article an overview on virus particle assembly, chemical and recombinant methods of virus particle labeling and examples on how FS can be applied as sensors to monitor receptor-ligand interactions on leukocytes are given. View Full-Text
Keywords: virus-like nanoparticles; fluorosomes; fluorescent dyes; receptor-ligand interactions virus-like nanoparticles; fluorosomes; fluorescent dyes; receptor-ligand interactions
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Wojta-Stremayr, D.; Pickl, W.F. Fluorosomes: Fluorescent Virus-Like Nanoparticles that Represent a Convenient Tool to Visualize Receptor-Ligand Interactions. Sensors 2013, 13, 8722-8749.

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