Project Title: Structural studies of antigens coupled to virus-like particles by solid-state NMR
Total cost: 2400 EUR
Partner: Istitut des Sciences Analytiques
Coordinator: Dr. chem. Guido Pintacuda
Project coordinator BMC: Dr. biol. Kaspars Tārs
The goal of our project is to develop innovative solid-state NMR experimental methods applicable to structural studies of antigens (i.e. epitopes of foreign infectious agents) exposed on the surface of VLPs by chemical coupling or genetic fusion. Although our efforts will be focused on the VLP systems used by the Latvian partner institute for vaccine development, the method will be generally applicable, also for studies of other VLP systems. The newly developed method will allow to obtain detailed knowledge of the molecular structure of surface attached antigens, which is not accessible using other techniques. The results will be used as a basis for rational modification of the antigens, and for optimization of their coupling with the aim to design more effective vaccine vectors.
Thanks to bilateral visits both research groups will have access to highly complementary know-how regarding biological sample preparation (Riga) and ultrafast MAS as well as DNP-enhanced NMR analysis at very high fields (Lyon).