Lyophilization and enhanced stability of fluorescent protein nanoparticles

Kyung Rim Kim, Keum Young Ahn, Jin Seung Park, Kyung Eun Lee, Hyesung Jeon, Jeewon Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Protein nanoparticles (PNPs) that are nanostructured biomaterials with intrinsic biological function have been widely employed as three-dimensional nanobiomaterials for sensitive bioassays, MRI contrast, semiconductor devices, template for hybrid materials, etc., and stable and long-term maintenance of PNPs seems to be of crucial importance. We evaluated the stability of PNPs and the efficacy of lyophilization for the long-term stability of PNPs, especially using green fluorescent protein nanoparticles (gFPNPs) as a model PNP. Fluorescence intensities and TEM images of gFPNPs were analyzed to monitor their functional and structural stabilities. Unlike the green fluorescent protein monomers (eGFP) that were gradually inactivated in aqueous solution, gFPNP in the same aqueous solution retained the initial fluorescence activity and spherical nanoparticle structure even for 2. weeks at 4. °C. To ensure stable and long-term maintenance of gFPNPs, gFPNPs in aqueous solution were converted to the dried solid forms through lyophilization. It is notable that fluorescence activity and nanoparticle structure of gFPNPs that were lyophilized with both Tween 80 and sucrose were very stably maintained even for 10. weeks at various storage temperatures (-20. °C, 4. °C, 25. °C, and 37. °C). During the period of 10. weeks, the fluorescence of gFPNP was always more than 80% level of initial fluorescence at a wide range of temperature. Although this stability study was focused on gFPNPs, the developed optimal lyophilization conditions for gFPNPs can be applied in general to stable and long-term maintenance of many other PNP-derived biomaterials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-229
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical and biophysical research communications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 May 6

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the National Research Laboratory Project (Grant No. 2010-0018908 , the main project that supported this work), the Microbial Genomics and Applications Center at KRIBB (Grant No. 2010-K000599 ), the Public welfare & Safety Research Program (Grant No. 2010-0020778 ), and the Basic Science Research Program (ERC program, Grant No. 2010-0029409 ) of the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government. This work was also supported by the Second Brain Korea 21 Project, the Seoul R&BD Program (Grant No. PA100026M0211612 ), and an additional support from the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) (a Grant No. 2010-0027771 ).


  • Fluorescent protein nanoparticles
  • Lyophilization
  • Protein nanoparticle structure
  • Stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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