Interaction of single viruslike particles with vesicles containing glycosphingolipids

Phys Rev Lett. 2011 Oct 28;107(18):188103. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.107.188103. Epub 2011 Oct 28.


Glycosphingolipids are involved in the first steps of virus-cell interaction, where they mediate specific recognition of the host cell membrane. We have employed total-internal-reflection fluorescence microscopy to explore the interaction kinetics between individual unlabeled noroviruslike particles, which are attached to a glycosphingolipid-containing lipid bilayer, and fluorescent vesicles containing different types and concentrations of glycosphingolipids. Under association equilibrium, the vesicle-binding rate is found to be kinetically limited, yielding information on the corresponding activation energy. The dissociation kinetics are logarithmic over a wide range of time. The latter is explained by the vesicle-size-related distribution of the dissociation activation energy. The biological, pharmaceutical, and diagnostic relevance of the study is briefly discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Glycosphingolipids / metabolism*
  • Kinetics
  • Lipid Bilayers / metabolism*
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Time Factors
  • Virion / metabolism*


  • Glycosphingolipids
  • Lipid Bilayers