Paramyxovirus-like particles as protein delivery vehicles

Santosh Panthi, Phuong Tieu Schmitt, F. Jeffrey Lorenz, Brent A. Stanfield, Anthony P. Schmitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


We have developed a flexible platform for delivery of proteins to target cell interiors using paramyxovirus-like particles. The key enabling feature is an appendage, 15 to 30 amino acid residues in length, that is added to cargo proteins and that induces them to bind to the viral matrix (M) protein during virus-like particle (VLP) assembly. The cargo is then incorporated within the VLPs as they bud, using the same interactions that normally direct viral genome packaging. The appendage can also serve as an epitope tag for cargo detection using a nucleocapsid (NP) protein-specific monoclonal antibody. Using this approach, we generated Renilla luciferase-loaded VLPs, green fluorescent protein-loaded VLPs, superoxide dismutase-loaded VLPs, and Cre recombinase-loaded VLPs. In each case, the VLPs could efficiently deliver their functional cargos to target cells and, in the case of Cre recombinase, to target cell nuclei. The strategy was employed using two different VLP production platforms, one based on parainfluenza virus 5 (PIV5) and the other based on Nipah virus, and in both cases efficient cargo packaging and delivery could be achieved. These findings provide a foundation for development of paramyxovirus-like particles as tools for safe and efficient delivery of therapeutic proteins to cells and tissues. IMPORTANCE Therapeutic proteins including transcription factors and genome editors have enormous clinical potential but are currently limited in part due to the challenges of safely and efficiently delivering these proteins to the interiors of target cells. Here, we have developed a new strategy for protein delivery based on manipulation of paramyxovirus genome packaging interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere01030-21
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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