Coating Nanoparticles with Plant-Produced Transferrin-Hydrophobin Fusion Protein Enhances Their Uptake in Cancer Cells

Lauri J. Reuter, Mohammad-Ali Shahbazi, Ermei M. Mäkilä, Jarno J. Salonen, Reza Saberianfar, Rima Menassa, Hélder A. Santos, Jussi J. Joensuu, Anneli Ritala

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The encapsulation of drugs to nanoparticles may offer a solution for targeted delivery. Here, we set out to engineer a self-assembling targeting ligand by combining the functional properties of human transferrin and fungal hydrophobins in a single fusion protein. We showed that human transferrin can be expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana plants as a fusion with Trichoderma reesei hydrophobins HFBI, HFBII, or HFBIV. Transferrin-HFBIV was further expressed in tobacco BY-2 suspension cells. Both partners of the fusion protein retained their functionality; the hydrophobin moiety enabled migration to a surfactant phase in an aqueous two-phase system, and the transferrin moiety was able to reversibly bind iron. Coating porous silicon nanoparticles with the fusion protein resulted in uptake of the nanoparticles in human cancer cells. This study provides a proof-of-concept for the functionalization of hydrophobin coatings with transferrin as a targeting ligand.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1639-1648
    Number of pages10
    JournalBioconjugate Chemistry
    Volume28
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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