Bacteriophage PRD1 as a nanoscaffold for drug loading.
Duyvesteyn HME., Santos-Pérez I., Peccati F., Martinez-Castillo A., Walter TS., Reguera D., Goñi FM., Jiménez-Osés G., Oksanen HM., Stuart DI., Abrescia NGA.
Viruses are very attractive biomaterials owing to their capability as nanocarriers of genetic material. Efforts have been made to functionalize self-assembling viral protein capsids on their exterior or interior to selectively take up different payloads. PRD1 is a double-stranded DNA bacteriophage comprising an icosahedral protein outer capsid and an inner lipidic vesicle. Here, we report the three-dimensional structure of PRD1 in complex with the antipsychotic drug chlorpromazine (CPZ) by cryo-electron microscopy. We show that the jellyrolls of the viral major capsid protein P3, protruding outwards from the capsid shell, serve as scaffolds for loading heterocyclic CPZ molecules. Additional X-ray studies and molecular dynamics simulations show the binding modes and organization of CPZ molecules when complexed with P3 only and onto the virion surface. Collectively, we provide a proof of concept for the possible use of the lattice-like organisation and the quasi-symmetric morphology of virus capsomers for loading heterocyclic drugs with defined properties.