Proteinticle/gold core/shell nanoparticles for targeted cancer therapy without nanotoxicity

Koo Chul Kwon, Ju Hee Ryu, Jong Hwan Lee, Eun Jung Lee, Ick Chan Kwon, Kwang Meyung Kim, Jeewon Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Citations (Scopus)


For targeted and nanotoxicity-free cancer therapy, here we developed proteinticle/gold core/shell nanoparticles (PGCS-NP) through the surface engineering of proteinticle. Unlike synthetic nanoparticles, proteinticles are biological nanoparticles, i.e., nano-scale protein particles (e.g., viral capsid) that are self-assembled inside cells with constant structure and surface topology [1]and can be engineered to present specifi ed peptides or proteins on their surface through genetic modifi cation of the N- or C-terminus or internal region of the protein constituent. [1-3]Both poly-tyrosine with high reduction potential and affi body peptides with specifi c affi nity for human epidermal growth factor receptor I (EGFR) were presented on the surface of hepatitis B virus capsid, and the subsequent Au + reduction formed PGCS-NP (40 nm) that is dotted with many small gold NPs (1-3 nm). PGCS-NP shows excellent photothermal activity and high affi nity for EGFR-expressing tumor cells. When intravenously injected into tumor-bearing mice, PGCS-NP effectively reached the EGFR-expressing tumor cells and caused severe tumor cell necrosis and signifi cant reduction in tumor size upon NIR laser irradiation. Unlike gold NPs causing in vivo toxicity problems, PGCS-NP never caused any gross and histological lesions in major organs of mice, indicating that it is a safe and potent agent for photothermal therapy of cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6436-6441
Number of pages6
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number37
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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