South Korean researchers have developed a technology, which leads protein therapeutics to tumor cells safely and accurately by using lights, to treat cancer.
The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) announced on August 9 that its research team led by Choi Chul-hee and Jeong Kyung-sun, professors of the Department of Bio and Brain Engineering, developed such a new technology and released it in the online version of Nature Communications, a renowned international scientific journal, on July 22.
The research team used proteins CRY2 and CIBN that stick to each other when blue lights with a wavelength of 450 to 490 nanometers illuminate them. It combined protein therapeutics with CRY2 and exosome, a nanoparticle which is used to deliver protein between cells, with CIBN, and then shoot the blue lights with the wavelength of 450 to 490 nm. In this case, protein therapeutics and exosome mingle together as CRY2 and CIBM combine together. In short, it is like guiding customers, or protein therapeutics, who head to the destination of tumor cells with lights, and helping them to get on the bus, or exosome, to the destination.
The traditional way is to inject protein, which is refined the outside of cells, into exosome. However, the new technology can reduce costs and time as it doesn’t require a refining process. Moreover, it can increase the loading rate of protein therapeutics by more than 1,000 times, according to the KAIST. Unlike the traditional method, the new technology doesn’t have to control the immune reaction to protein therapeutics and leads protein therapeutics to target cells.
In regard to the new technology, Professor Jeong said, “This is an innovative source technology which can mass produces safe and superior protein therapeutics.” The technology has been transferred to Celex Life Science, a company founded by the KAIST, and the company is currently using it to optimize the manufacturing technology of exosome drugs.