Hyaluronic acid-gold nanoparticle/interferon α complex for targeted treatment of hepatitis C virus infection

Min Young Lee, Jeong A. Yang, Ho Sang Jung, Songeun Beack, Jung Eun Choi, Wonhee Hur, Heebeom Koo, Kwangmeyung Kim, Seung Kew Yoon, Sei Kwang Hahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

146 Scopus citations


Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) have been extensively investigated as an emerging delivery carrier of various biopharmaceuticals. Instead of nonspecific polyethylene glycol (PEG) conjugated interferon α (IFNα) for the clinical treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, in this work, a target-specific long-acting delivery system of IFNα was successfully developed using the hybrid materials of AuNP and hyaluronic acid (HA). The HA-AuNP/IFNα complex was prepared by chemical binding of thiolated HA and physical binding of IFNα to AuNP. According to antiproliferation tests in Daudi cells, the HA-AuNP/IFNα complex showed a comparable biological activity to PEG-Intron with a highly enhanced stability in human serum. Even 7 days postinjection, HA-AuNP/IFNα complex was target-specifically delivered and remained in the murine liver tissue, whereas IFNα and PEG-Intron were not detected in the liver. Accordingly, HA-AuNP/IFNα complex significantly enhanced the expression of 2′,5′-oligoadenylate synthetase 1 (OAS1) for innate immune responses to viral infection in the liver tissue, which was much higher than those by IFNα, PEG-Intron, and AuNP/IFNα complex. Taken together, the target-specific HA-AuNP/IFNα complex was thought to be successfully applied to the systemic treatment of HCV infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9522-9531
Number of pages10
JournalACS Nano
Issue number11
StatePublished - 27 Nov 2012


  • gold nanoparticle
  • hepatitis C virus
  • hyaluronic acid
  • interferon R
  • targeted delivery


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