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Virus Surface Charge

Paul R Clark prc at U.Arizona.EDU
Wed Apr 30 11:18:05 EST 1997

I'm interested in the net surface charge on mammalian viruses and how
viral charge affects viral adsorption.  It is my understanding (correct me
if I'm wrong) that mammalian viruses have a net negative charge at
physiologic pH. I find this interesting because of the net negative charge
on mammalian cells due to their phospholipid content.  I have been working
with human adenovirus gene transfer vectors and have found that the
pI of adeno capsid proteins are: Hexon = 4.5 and penton = 4.7.  pI of
fiber protein on adenovirus is reported to be 7.07.  From these data, I
have concluded that, at pH 7.0, an adeno virus particle has a negative
core (Hexon and penton) with positively charged fiber protrusions. Is this
correct (my chemistry is a little rusty)?
If so, it would explain how negatively charged adenovirus particles might
interact with negatively charged cell surfaces (via positive fiber
Thank you, in advance for any comments and corrections.
In reading this note, if any related citations come to mind (any virus) I
would greatly appreciate the information.


Paul R Clark
prc at U.Arizona.EDU
Grad Student
Micro and Immunol
University of Arizona

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