Nanobiotechnology: “Lymphocyte infiltration and antitumoral effect promoted by cytotoxic inflammatory proteins formulated as self-assembling, protein-only nanoparticles”

Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy

Volume 164, August 2023, 114976



Two human proteins involved in the inflammatory cell death, namely Gasdermin D (GSDMD) and the Mixed Lineage Kinase Domain-Like (MLKL) protein have been engineered to accommodate an efficient ligand of the tumoral cell marker CXCR4, and a set of additional peptide agents that allow their spontaneous self-assembling. Upon production in bacterial cells and further purification, both proteins organized as stable nanoparticles of 46 and 54 nm respectively, that show, in this form, a moderate but dose-dependent cytotoxicity in cell culture. In vivo, and when administered in mouse models of colorectal cancer through repeated doses, the nanoscale forms of tumor-targeted GSDMD and, at a lesser extent, of MLKL promoted CD8+ and CD20+ lymphocyte infiltration in the tumor and an important reduction of tumor size, in absence of systemic toxicity. The potential of these novel pharmacological agents as anticancer drugs is discussed in the context of synergistic approaches to more effective cancer treatments.