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Communication

Genetically Encoded Self-Assembling Iron Oxide Nanoparticles as a Possible Platform for Cancer-Cell Tracking

1
Department of Chemistry & TUM School of Medicine, Technical University of Munich (TUM), 81675 Munich, Germany
2
Institute for Synthetic Biomedicine, Helmholtz Center Munich, 85764 Neuherberg, Germany
3
Department of Medical Nanobiotechnology, Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University, 117997 Moscow, Russia
4
V.P. Serbskiy National Medical Research Center of Psychiatry and Narcology, 119034 Moscow, Russia
5
Laboratory “Biomedical Nanomaterials”, National University of Science and Technology “MISiS”, 119049 Moscow, Russia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Nikola Knežević
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(3), 397; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13030397
Received: 16 February 2021 / Revised: 9 March 2021 / Accepted: 12 March 2021 / Published: 16 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Magnetic Nanoparticles for Cancer Therapy)
The study of growth and possible metastasis in animal models of tumors would benefit from reliable cell labels for noninvasive whole-organism imaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging. Genetically encoded cell-tracking reporters have the advantage that they are contrast-selective for viable cells with intact protein expression machinery. Besides, these reporters do not suffer from dilution during cell division. Encapsulins, which are bacterial protein nanocompartments, can serve as genetically controlled labels for multimodal detection of cells. Such nanocompartments can host various guest molecules inside their lumen. These include, for example, fluorescent proteins or enzymes with ferroxidase activity leading to biomineralization of iron oxide inside the encapsulin nanoshell. The aim of this work was to implement heterologous expression of encapsulin systems from Quasibacillus thermotolerans using the fluorescent reporter protein mScarlet-I and ferroxidase IMEF in the human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line HepG2. The successful expression of self-assembled encapsulin nanocompartments with functional cargo proteins was confirmed by fluorescence microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. Also, coexpression of encapsulin nanoshells, ferroxidase cargo, and iron transporter led to an increase in T2-weighted contrast in magnetic resonance imaging of HepG2 cells. The results demonstrate that the encapsulin cargo system from Q. thermotolerans may be suitable for multimodal imaging of cancer cells and could contribute to further in vitro and in vivo studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: genetically controlled imaging reporters; biogenic iron oxide nanoparticles; visualization of cancer cells; encapsulins; magnetic resonance imaging; fluorescence; cell tracking genetically controlled imaging reporters; biogenic iron oxide nanoparticles; visualization of cancer cells; encapsulins; magnetic resonance imaging; fluorescence; cell tracking
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MDPI and ACS Style

Efremova, M.V.; Bodea, S.-V.; Sigmund, F.; Semkina, A.; Westmeyer, G.G.; Abakumov, M.A. Genetically Encoded Self-Assembling Iron Oxide Nanoparticles as a Possible Platform for Cancer-Cell Tracking. Pharmaceutics 2021, 13, 397. https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13030397

AMA Style

Efremova MV, Bodea S-V, Sigmund F, Semkina A, Westmeyer GG, Abakumov MA. Genetically Encoded Self-Assembling Iron Oxide Nanoparticles as a Possible Platform for Cancer-Cell Tracking. Pharmaceutics. 2021; 13(3):397. https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13030397

Chicago/Turabian Style

Efremova, Maria V., Silviu-Vasile Bodea, Felix Sigmund, Alevtina Semkina, Gil G. Westmeyer, and Maxim A. Abakumov 2021. "Genetically Encoded Self-Assembling Iron Oxide Nanoparticles as a Possible Platform for Cancer-Cell Tracking" Pharmaceutics 13, no. 3: 397. https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13030397

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