A protein delivery system using 30Kc19 cell-penetrating protein originating from silkworm

Ju Hyun Park, Ju Hyun Lee, Hee Ho Park, Won Jong Rhee, Shin Sik Choi, Tai Hyun Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Cell-penetrating protein and its protein transduction domain have been used to deliver drugs and proteins into the cells via receptor-independent endocytosis. A number of cell-penetrating proteins including TAT derived from HIV-1 virus, VP22 from herpes simplex virus and Antennapedia from drosophila have been discovered. Here, we report a cell-penetrating protein, 30Kc19, originating from the hemolymph of silkworm, Bombyx mori. The 30Kc19 is the first cell-penetrating protein that has been found in insect hemolymph. When the 30Kc19 protein produced from recombinant Escherichia coli was supplemented into the medium for mammalian cell culture, 30Kc19 efficiently penetrated into various types of cells and localized at subcellular compartments including mitochondria and cytoplasm. 30Kc19 also delivered cargo proteins such as green fluorescence protein into the cells even though cargo proteins are not able to penetrate into cells by themselves. In addition to the in vitro system, 30Kc19 exhibited the protein transduction property in vivo. When 30Kc19 was intraperitoneally injected into mice, 30Kc19 delivered cargo proteins into various organ tissues of model animals without producing toxicity. Therefore, 30Kc19 has a great potential as a cell-penetrating protein that can be used as a medicinal tool to deliver cargo molecules including proteins into the target organ tissues in the body.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9127-9134
Number of pages8
Issue number35
StatePublished - Dec 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the government of Korea (MEST) (No. 2012K0001365 , 2012-0000144 , 20110020984 , 2010-0002520 ) and by a grant of the Korea Healthcare technology R&D Project, Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea . (Grant No. A103017 ). This work was also supported by the Pioneer Research Program (No. 2012-0001020 ) and WCU (World Class University) Program ( R32-2011-000-10213-0 ) through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology (MEST) .


  • 30Kc19 protein
  • Cell-penetrating protein
  • In vivo transduction
  • Protein delivery
  • Protein transduction domain


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