Engineered Human Ferritin Nanoparticles for Direct Delivery of Tumor Antigens to Lymph Node and Cancer Immunotherapy

Bo Ram Lee, Ho Kyung Ko, Ju Hee Ryu, Keum Young Ahn, Young Ho Lee, Se Jin Oh, Jin Hee Na, Tae Woo Kim, Youngro Byun, Ick Chan Kwon, Kwangmeyung Kim, Jeewon Lee

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64 Scopus citations


Efficient delivery of tumor-specific antigens (TSAs) to lymph nodes (LNs) is essential to eliciting robust immune response for cancer immunotherapy but still remains unsolved. Herein, we evaluated the direct LN-targeting performance of four different protein nanoparticles with different size, shape, and origin [Escherichia coli DNA binding protein (DPS), Thermoplasma acidophilum proteasome (PTS), hepatitis B virus capsid (HBVC), and human ferritin heavy chain (hFTN)] in live mice, using an optical fluorescence imaging system. Based on the imaging results, hFTN that shows rapid LN targeting and prolonged retention in LNs was chosen as a carrier of the model TSA [red fluorescence protein (RFP)], and the flexible surface architecture of hFTN was engineered to densely present RFPs on the hFTN surface through genetic modification of subunit protein of hFTN. The RFP-modified hFTN rapidly targeted LNs, sufficiently exposed RFPs to LN immune cells during prolonged period of retention in LNs, induced strong RFP-specific cytotoxic CD8+ T cell response, and notably inhibited RFP-expressing melanoma tumor growth in live mice. This suggests that the strategy using protein nanoparticles as both TSA-carrying scaffold and anti-cancer vaccine holds promise for clinically effective immunotherapy of cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number35182
JournalScientific Reports
StatePublished - 11 Oct 2016

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© 2016 The Author(s).


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