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Self-assembled HCV core virus-like particles targeted and inhibited tumor cell migration and invasion

Xiang Li12*, Xuehe Xu3, Aihui Jin4, Qunying Jia12, Huaibin Zhou12, Shuai Kang12, Yongliang Lou12, Jimin Gao12* and Jianxin Lu12*

Author Affiliations

1 Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Medical Genetics, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, Zhejiang 325035, People’s Republic of China

2 Zhejiang Provincial Key Lab for Technology and Application of Model Organisms, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, Zhejiang 325035, People’s Republic of China

3 Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510515, People’s Republic of China

4 Clinical Laboratory of Ningbo Yinzhou Second Hospital, Ningbo, Zhejiang 315100, People’s Republic of China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:401  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-401

Published: 27 September 2013


We used a baculovirus expression system to express fusion proteins of HCV core, RGD (Arg-Gly-Asp) peptide, and IFN-α2a fragments in Sf9 cells. Western blotting and electron microscopy demonstrate that HCV core, peptides RGD, and IFN-α2a fusion proteins assemble into 30 to 40 nm nano-particles (virus-like particles, VLPs). Xenograft assays show that VLPs greatly reduced tumor volume and weight with regard to a nontreated xenograft. Migration and invasion results show that VLPs can inhibit the migration and invasion of the breast cancer cells MDA-MB231. This study will provide theoretical and experimental basis for the establishment of safe and effective tumor-targeted drug delivery systems and clinical application of VLPs carrying cell interacting cargo.

HCV core; Virus-like particles; VLPs; Tumor specificity; Migration; Invasion