In vitro assembly and evaluation of Nora virus VLPs

Kellie D. Licking-Murray, Darby J. Carlson, Ryan Sowle, Kimberly A. Carlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Nora virus is a RNA picorna-like virus that produces a persistent infection in Drosophila melanogaster. The genome is approximately 12,300 bases and is divided into four open reading frames (ORFs). Structurally, there are four important viral proteins: VP3, VP4A, VP4B, and VP4C. Three proteins (VP4A, VP4B, and VP4C) that form the virion's capsid are encoded by ORF4, which produces a polyprotein that is post-translationally cleaved. The fourth protein (VP3) is encoded by ORF 3 and it is hypothesized to play a role in virion stability. The genes for these proteins were individually cloned into Escherichia coli, expressed, and the proteins were purified. Virus-like particles (VLPs) were assembled in vitro by mixing the proteins together in different combinations and measured via electron microscopy. Assemblies that contained VP4A and/or VP3 created VLPs with similar sizes to purified empty Nora virus capsids, potentially indicating that VP4A and/or VP3 are vital for Nora virus capsid structure, assembly, and/or stability. Not only does this study provide insight into the role of Nora virus proteins, but it may also lead to a deeper understanding of how Nora virus or other picorna-like viruses undergo assembly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-389
Number of pages9
JournalActa Virologica
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021


  • Nora virus
  • RNA viruses
  • capsid assembly
  • picorna-like virus
  • virus-like particles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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