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Dengue-specific subviral nanoparticles: design, creation and characterization

Niyati Khetarpal1, Ankur Poddar1, Satish K Nemani12, Nisha Dhar1, Aravind Patil1, Priyanka Negi1, Ashiya Perween1, Ramaswamy Viswanathan1, Heinrich Lünsdorf3, Poornima Tyagi1, Rajendra Raut1, Upasana Arora1, Swatantra K Jain4, Ursula Rinas23, Sathyamangalam Swaminathan1* and Navin Khanna1*

Author Affiliations

1 Recombinant Gene Products Group, International Centre for Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi, 110067, India

2 Leibniz University of Hannover, Technical Chemistry-Life Science, Hannover, Germany

3 Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig, Germany

4 Department of Biotechnology, Jamia Hamdard, Hamdard Nagar, New Delhi, 110062, India

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Journal of Nanobiotechnology 2013, 11:15  doi:10.1186/1477-3155-11-15

Published: 25 May 2013



Dengue is today the most significant of arboviral diseases. Novel tools are necessary to effectively address the problem of dengue. Virus-like particles (VLP) offer a versatile nanoscale platform for developing tools with potential biomedical applications. From the perspective of a potentially useful dengue-specific tool, the dengue virus envelope protein domain III (EDIII), endowed with serotype-specificity, host receptor recognition and the capacity to elicit virus-neutralizing antibodies, is an attractive candidate.


We have developed a strategy to co-express and co-purify Hepatitis B virus surface (S) antigen in two forms: independently and as a fusion with EDIII. We characterized these physically and functionally.


The two forms of the S antigen associate into VLPs. The ability of these to display EDIII in a functionally accessible manner is dependent upon the relative levels of the two forms of the S antigen. Mosaic VLPs containing the fused and un-fused components in 1:4 ratio displayed maximal functional competence.


VLPs armed with EDIII may be potentially useful in diagnostic, therapeutic and prophylactic applications.

Dengue envelope domain III; Hepatitis B surface antigen; Virus-like particle; Bionanoparticles; Pichia pastoris