MS2 and Qβ bacteriophages reveal the contribution of surface hydrophobicity on the mobility of non‐enveloped icosahedral viruses in SDS‐based capillary zone electrophoresis

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EarlyView Article

  • Published: Nov 13, 2017
  • Author: Guillaume Sautrey, Adrien Brié, Christophe Gantzer, Alain Walcarius


SDS is commonly employed as BGE additive in CZE analysis of non‐enveloped icosahedral viruses. But the way by which SDS interacts with the surface of such viruses remains to date poorly known, making complicate to understand their behavior during a run. In this article, two related bacteriophages, MS2 and Qβ, are used as model to investigate the migration mechanism of non‐enveloped icosahedral viruses in SDS‐based CZE. Both phages are characterized by similar size and surface charge but significantly different surface hydrophobicity (Qβ > MS2, where ‘>’ means ‘more hydrophobic than’). By comparing their electrophoretic mobility in the presence or not of SDS on both sides of the CMC, we show that surface hydrophobicity of phages is a key factor influencing their mobility and that SDS‐virus association is driven by hydrophobic interactions at the surface of virions. The CZE analyses of heated MS2 particles, which over‐express hydrophobic domains at their surface, confirm this finding. The correlations between the present results and others from the literature suggest that the proposed mechanism might not be exclusive to the bacteriophages examined here.

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