Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) California NanoSystems Institute, the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute modeled the structure of the largest cellular particle ever crystallized. The research study focuses on new engineered nanomaterial vaults for use as a drug therapy vehicle and appears in PLoS Biology, published by the Public Library of Science.
Vaults are large, barrel-shaped particles found in the cytoplasm of all mammalian cells; they may function in innate immunity. As naturally-occurring nanoscale capsules, vaults may be useful to engineer as therapeutic delivery vehicles. For the study, the team of researchers proposed an atomic structure for the thin outer shell of the vault. Using X-ray diffraction and computer modeling, the research team developed a draft atomic model for the major vault protein, which forms the shell-like enclosure of the vault.
Published in Drug Discovery & Development magazine: Vol. 10, No. 12, December, 2007, pp. 16.
Filed Under: Drug Discovery