Peptide-Based Nanostructured Materials with Intrinsic Proapoptotic Activities in CXCR4+ Solid Tumors

Naroa Serna, María Virtudes Céspedes, Laura Sánchez-García, Ugutz Unzueta, Rita Sala, Alejandro Sánchez-Chardi, Francisco Cortés, Neus Ferrer-Miralles, Ramón Mangues, Esther Vázquez, Antonio Villaverde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


© 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim Protein materials are gaining interest in nanomedicine because of the unique combination of regulatable function and structure. A main application of protein nanoparticles is as vehicles for cell-targeted drug delivery in the form of nanoconjugates, in which a conventional or innovative drug is associated to a carrier protein. Here, a new nanomedical approach based on self-assembling protein nanoparticles is developed in which a chemically homogeneous protein material acts, simultaneously, as vehicle and drug. For that, three proapoptotic peptidic factors are engineered to self-assemble as protein-only, fully stable nanoparticles that escape renal clearance, for the multivalent display of a CXCR4 ligand and the intracellular delivery into CXCR4+ colorectal cancer models. These materials, produced and purified in a single step from bacterial cells, show an excellent biodistribution upon systemic administration and local antitumoral effects. The design and generation of intrinsically therapeutic protein-based materials offer unexpected opportunities in targeted drug delivery based on fully biocompatible, tailor-made constructs.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1700919
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number32
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2017


  • advanced therapies
  • nanoparticles
  • protein materials
  • self-assembly
  • therapeutic proteins


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