Cowpea Mosaic Virus VLPs


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Product name: Cowpea mosaic virus (CPMV) virus-like particles (VLPs)

Product description: Empty CPMV VLPs produced in Nicotiana benthamiana by Agrobacterium-mediated transient expression

Host species: Nicotiana benthamiana

Molecular weight & size: 60x 41 kDa (L) + 60x 23 kDa (S) & approx. 28-30 nm

Tag: N/A

Uses: For research use only.

Relevance: Cowpea mosaic virus (CPMV) is a non-enveloped plant virus of the Comovirus group. CPMV has a genome consisting of two molecules of positive-strand RNA (RNA-1 and RNA-2), which are separately encapsulated in icosahedral particles of approximately 28-nm diameter (Figure 1). The particles are formed from 60 copies each of a Large (L) and Small (S) coat protein. The development and modification of the plant derived CPMV has provided a simple and effective route into the use of VLP’s in medical applications. CPMV derived VLP’s offer high degrees of stability when formed, deliver good yields in their preparation and can be structurally modified. CPMV VLPs have been used, for example to express parts of other viruses or proteins to elicit an immune response1, 2, used as drug carriers which provide a protective shell for the delivery of drugs and chemicals3 and modified with dyes for bio-imaging applications4.









Figure 1:

A representative negative-stain electron micrograph of intact empty CPMV VLPs produced by this recombinant expression, extraction and purification method.

Scale bar: 60 nm



Purity: >95 % as shown by SDS-PAGE (Figure 2).












Figure 2: reducing 4-20% SDS-PAGE analysis of 5 µg CPMV VLP.



Particle Analysis (Malvern DLS): 28-30 (d, nm) (>99% volume)

Biological activity: N/A

Endotoxin: Not tested.


Formulation: Lyophilized from 10 Sodium Phosphate, pH 7.5, 175 mM Trehalose Dihydrate.

Shipping: Recombinant proteins are sterile-filtered and provided as lyophilized powder which are shipped at ambient temperature.

Stability & Storage: See COA for detailed storage instructions. Lyophilized materials are stable for up to twelve months from date of receipt at -70℃.

It is recommended that reconstituted protein be aliquoted for optimal storage. Avoid repeated freeze-thaw cycles.

Reconstitution: A hardcopy of COA with reconstitution instructions is included with the product.

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  1. Usha R, Rohll JB, Spall VE, Shanks M, Maule AJ, Johnson JE, Lomonossoff GP. Expression of an animal virus antigenic site on the surface of a plant virus particle. Virology. 197(1):366-74 (1993)
  2. Montague NP, Thuenemann EC, Saxena P, Saunders K, Lenzi P, Lomonossoff GP. Recent advances of cowpea mosaic virus-based particle technology. Hum Vaccin. 7(3):383-90 (2011)
  3. Czapar AE, Steinmetz NF. Plant viruses and bacteriophages for drug delivery in medicine and biotechnology. Curr Opin Chem Biol. 38:108-116 (2017)
  4. Leong HS, Steinmetz NF, Ablack A, Destito G, Zijlstra A, Stuhlmann H,Manchester M, Lewis JD. Intravital imaging of embryonic and tumor neovasculature using viral nanoparticles. Nat Protoc. 5(8):1406-17 (2010)