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Advances in Virology
Volume 2013, Article ID 746796, 7 pages
Research Article

Production of Platinum Atom Nanoclusters at One End of Helical Plant Viruses

1Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Vorob’evy gory 1, Building 40, Moscow 119992, Russia
2Department of Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Vorob’evy gory 1, Building 12, Moscow 119992, Russia

Received 11 April 2013; Accepted 12 August 2013

Academic Editor: Jay C. Brown

Copyright © 2013 Yuri Drygin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Platinum atom clusters (Pt nanoparticles, Pt-NPs) were produced selectively at one end of helical plant viruses, tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) and potato virus X (PVX), when platinum coordinate compounds were reduced chemically by borohydrides. Size of the platinum NPs depends on conditions of the electroless deposition of platinum atoms on the virus. Results suggest that the Pt-NPs are bound concurrently to the terminal protein subunits and the 5′ end of encapsidated TMV RNA. Thus, a special structure of tobacco mosaic virus and potato X virus particles with nanoparticles of platinum, which looks like a push-pin with platinum head and virus needle, was obtained. Similar results were obtained with ultrasonically fragmented TMV particles. By contrast, the Pt-NPs fully filled the central axial hole of in vitro assembled RNA-free TMV-like particles. We believe that the results presented here will be valuable in the fundamental understanding of interaction of viral platforms with ionic metals and in a mechanism of nanoparticles formation.