Genetic Assembly of Double-Layered Fluorescent Protein Nanoparticles for Cancer Targeting and Imaging

Seong Eun Kim, Sung Duk Jo, Koo Chul Kwon, You Yeon Won, Jeewon Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Hepatitis B virus capsid (HBVC), a self-assembled protein nanoparticle comprised of 180 or 240 subunit proteins, is used as a cage for genetic encapsulation of fluorescent proteins (FPs). The self-quenching of FPs is controlled by varying the spacing between FPs within the capsid structure. Double-layered FP nanoparticle possessing cancer cell-targeting capabilities is also produced by additionally attaching FPs and cancer cell receptor-binding peptides (affibodies) to the outer surface of the capsid. The generically modified HBVC with double layers of mCardinal FPs and affibodies (mC-DL-HBVC) exhibit a high fluorescence intensity and a strong photostability, and is efficiently internalized by cancer cells and significantly stable against intracellular degradation. The mC-DL-HBVC effectively detects tumor in live mice with enhanced tumor targeting and imaging efficiency with far less accumulation in the liver, compared to a conventional fluorescent dye, Cy5.5. This suggests the great potential of mC-DL-HBVC as a promising contrast agent for in vivo tumor fluorescence imaging.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1600471
JournalAdvanced Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2017 May 1


  • cancer targeting and imaging
  • double-layered fluorescent proteins
  • genetic encapsulation
  • super-fluorescent protein nanoparticles
  • viral capsid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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