Researchers Control Protein Therapeutics with Exosomes and Light

South Korean researchers have developed a technology, which leads protein therapeutics to tumor cells safely and accurately by using light, to treat cancer.

The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) announced on August 9 that its research team led by Choi Chul-hee and Jeong Kyung-sun, professors of the Department of Bio and Brain Engineering, have pulished the new technology in the online version of Nature Communications.

The research team used proteins CRY2 and CIBN that stick to each other when blue light with a wavelength of 450 to 490 nanometers illuminate them. They combined protein therapeutics with CRY2 and exosome, a nanoparticle which is used to deliver protein between cells, with CIBN, and then shot the blue light. In this case, the protein therapeutics and exosomes mingle together as CRY2 and CIBM combine together. In short, it is like guiding customers, or protein therapeutics, who head to the destination of tumor cells with light, and helping them to get on the bus, or exosome, to the destination.

The traditional method is to inject protein, which is refined the outside of cells, into exosome. However, this new technology can reduce costs and time as it doesn’t require a refining process. Moreover, it can increase the loading rate of protein therapeutics by more than 1,000 times, according to the KAIST. Unlike the traditional method, the new technology doesn’t have to control the immune reaction to protein therapeutics and leads protein therapeutics to target cells.

In regard to the new technology, Professor Jeong said, “This is an innovative source technology which can mass produces safe and superior protein therapeutics.” The technology has been transferred to Celex Life Science, a company founded by the KAIST, and the company is currently using it to optimize the manufacturing technology of exosome drugs.

Generation of engineered EXPLOR

exosomes(a) Schematics of DNA constructs used for the production of EXPLOR. (b) Schematic showing fusion proteins and their proposed action. (c) HEK293T cells were transiently transfected with CIBN-EGFP-CD9 and mCherry-CRY2 expression vectors. The mCherry fluorescence was imaged before and after 488-nm laser stimulation (15 s in duration, 350 μW cm−2). Scale bars, 20 μm (5 μm for inset images). A representative result from at least 10 experiments. (d) HEK293T cells transiently transfected with CIBN-EGFP-CD9 and mCherry-CRY2 were imaged for time-lapse imaging of mCherry fluorescence for varying time periods (0–12 min) after a stimulation (black arrow) of 488-nm light (15 s in duration, 350 μW cm−2). Scale bars, 5 μm. A representative result of at least 10 experiments. (e) Quantification of mCherry fluorescence in the cytoplasm and at the plasma membrane. Data are presented as the mean±s.e.m. (n=3).

Source – Business Korea

Yim N, Ryu SW, Choi K, Lee KR, Lee S, Choi H, Kim J, Shaker MR, Sun W, Park JH, Kim D, Heo WD Choi C (2016) Exosome engineering for efficient intracellular delivery of soluble proteins using optically reversible protein-protein interaction module. Nat Commun 7:12277. [article]

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