Hepatitis B virus (HBV) envelope L proteins, when synthesized in yeast cells, form a hollow bionanocapsule (BNC) in which genes (including large plasmids up to 40 kbp), small interfering RNA (siRNA), drugs, and proteins can be enclosed by electroporation. BNCs made from L proteins have several advantages as a delivery system: Because they display a human liver-specific receptor (the pre-S region of the L protein) on their surface, BNCs can efficiently and specifically deliver their contents to human liver-derived cells and tissues ex vivo (in cell culture) and in vivo (in a mouse xenograft model). Retargeting can be achieved simply by substituting other biorecognition molecules such as antibodies, ligands, receptors, and homing peptides for the pre-S region. In addition, BNCs have already been proven to be safe for use in humans during their development as an immunogen of hepatitis B vaccine. This protocol describes the loading of BNCs and their use in cell culture and in vivo.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)