Genetic Assembly of Double-Layered Fluorescent Protein Nanoparticles for Cancer Targeting and Imaging

Seong Eun Kim, Sung Duk Jo, Koo Chul Kwon, You Yeon Won, Jeewon Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Hepatitis B virus capsid (HBVC), a self-assembled protein nanoparticle comprised of 180 or 240 subunit proteins, is used as a cage for genetic encapsulation of fluorescent proteins (FPs). The self-quenching of FPs is controlled by varying the spacing between FPs within the capsid structure. Double-layered FP nanoparticle possessing cancer cell-targeting capabilities is also produced by additionally attaching FPs and cancer cell receptor-binding peptides (affibodies) to the outer surface of the capsid. The generically modified HBVC with double layers of mCardinal FPs and affibodies (mC-DL-HBVC) exhibit a high fluorescence intensity and a strong photostability, and is efficiently internalized by cancer cells and significantly stable against intracellular degradation. The mC-DL-HBVC effectively detects tumor in live mice with enhanced tumor targeting and imaging efficiency with far less accumulation in the liver, compared to a conventional fluorescent dye, Cy5.5. This suggests the great potential of mC-DL-HBVC as a promising contrast agent for in vivo tumor fluorescence imaging.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1600471
JournalAdvanced Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2017 May 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the 2015 NLRL (National Leading Research Lab.) Project (Grant No. 2015R1A2A1A05001861) (the main project that supported this work). The contributions of S.D.J. and Y.-Y.W. were supported by the Global Innovative Research Center (GiRC) Program (2012k1A1A2A01056095) of the National Research Foundation of Korea. The authors thank Dr. Kwangmeyung Kim and Dr. Hong Yeol Yoon in Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) for supporting the in vivo experiments.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Authors. Published by WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


  • cancer targeting and imaging
  • double-layered fluorescent proteins
  • genetic encapsulation
  • super-fluorescent protein nanoparticles
  • viral capsid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


Dive into the research topics of 'Genetic Assembly of Double-Layered Fluorescent Protein Nanoparticles for Cancer Targeting and Imaging'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this