Instruct-FI Centre in the field of large scale virus production and development of virus purification methods for structural analysis (ICVIR)
Our platform provides large amounts of pure viruses and macromolecular complexes for structural studies using traditional ultracentrifugation methods. The platform is equipped with seven ultra and four superspeed centrifuges as well as gradient making and fractionation instrumentation. We also develop new methods for virus purification using asymmetric flow field flow fractionation (AF4) and monolithic chromatography in co-operation with the manufacturers (Postnova and Biaseparations). Our technologies are available for external users. They can be used in different combinations to purify large macromolecular complexes, such as viruses.
Instruct-FI Centre in the field of large scale virus and macromolecular complex production and development of purification methods for structural analysis (ICVIR).
ICVIR provides methods and principles developed for the production and purification of virus-sized particles from simple to highly complex structures and masses in the order of tens to hundreds of MDa's. The enormous viral universe is the least explored domain of life. As viruses are the most abundant life forms and causative agents of severe infectious diseases in all cellular organisms, it is important to improve the methods to produce and purify viruses and their assembly and disassembly intermediates for structural studies. Viruses are also the natural interface connecting cell biology to structural biology.
Our platform is supported by the expertise on the following fields:
Standard biochemical protein purification methods are in most cases inadequate to produce highly purified virus particles for structural studies. The best purification results have been obtained using methods, where the particles stay in the liquid phase. Traditional preparative gradient ultracentrifugation is the most common virus purification method. ICVIR has four superspeed centrifuges and six ultracentrifuges. When running a number of centrifuges in parallel, adequate amounts of material for structural studies can be obtained. However, new methods are needed to meet the demands of higher purity and we are constantly developing such methods. We have shown that monolithic anion exchange chromatography can be applied for purification of virus-sized particles. We have also set up methods for purification of viruses with asymmetrical flow field-flow fractionation. Consequently, ICVIR provides a variety of technologies to purify large macromolecular complexes for structural and functional studies. Our personnel is skillful and well-trained to provide expertise and support in purification and production of macromolecular complexes, such as viruses.
For information about our research done under the Programme on Molecular Virology at the University of Helsinki, please visit:http://www.helsinki.fi/molecularvirology/.
Instruct_FI Centre ICVIR is located at the Biocenter 1 of the University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland. This Biocenter is situated at the Viikki Campus ~10 km from the city center and is easily accessible by public transport in ~30 minutes. More information on the Viikki Campus and the busses and their time tables can be found from the University of Helsinki web pages (http://www.helsinki.fi/viikki/english/). The Helsinki Vantaa International airport is located ~20 min drive from the Viikki Campus.
Viikki Campus hosts four faculties (Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry and Faculty of Veterinary Medicine), two research institutes of the University of Helsinki (Institute of Biotechnology and Neuroscience Centre) and the Viikki Science Library.