Melanoma and Lymphocyte Cell Specific Targeting Incorporated into a Heat Shock Protein Cage Architecture


Protein cages, including viral capsids, ferritins, and heat shock proteins (Hsps), can serve as nanocontainers for biomedical applications. They are genetically and chemically malleable platforms, with potential as therapeutic and imaging agent delivery systems. Here, both genetic and chemical strategies were used to impart cell-specific targeting to the Hsp cage from Methanococcus jannaschii. A tumor vasculature targeting peptide was incorporated onto the exterior surface of the Hsp cage. This protein cage bound to αvβ3 integrin-expressing cells. Cellular tropism was also imparted by conjugating anti-CD4 antibodies to the exterior of Hsp cages. These Ab-Hsp cage conjugates specifically bound to CD4+ cells. Protein cages have the potential to simultaneously incorporate multiple functionalities, including cell-specific targeting, imaging, and therapeutic agent delivery. We demonstrate the simultaneous incorporation of two functionalities, imaging and cell-specific targeting, onto the Hsp protein cage.




Flenniken, Michelle L., Deborah A. Willits, Ann L. Harmsen, Lars O. Liepold, Allen G. Harmsen, Mark J. Young, and Trevor Douglas. “Melanoma and Lymphocyte Cell-Specific Targeting Incorporated into a Heat Shock Protein Cage Architecture.” Chemistry & Biology 13, no. 2 (February 2006): 161–170. doi:10.1016/j.chembiol.2005.11.007.
Copyright (c) 2002-2022, LYRASIS. All rights reserved.