Reversible Fusion Proteins as a Tool to Enhance Uptake of Virus-Functionalized LbL Microcarriers

Scheffler K, Claus C, Stanifer ML, Boulant S, Reibetanz U.

For the efficient treatment of an increasing number of diseases the development of new therapeutics as well as novel drug delivery systems is essential. Such drug delivery systems (DDS) must not only consider biodegradability and protective packaging but must also target and control the release of active substances, which is one of the most important points in DDS application. We highlight the improvement of these key aspects, the increased interaction rate of Layer-by-Layer (LbL) designed microcarriers as a promising DDS after functionalization with vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV). We make use of the unique conformational reversibility of the fusion protein of VSV as a surface functionalization of LbL microcarriers. This reversibility allows for VSV to be used both as a tool for assembly onto the DDS and as an initiator for an efficient cellular uptake. We could show that the evolutionary optimized viral fusion machinery can be successfully combined with a biophysical DDS for optimization of its cellular interaction.