Lipid modification of proteins plays key roles in cellular signaling pathways. We describe the development of myristoylated preS1-nanocages (myr-preS1-nanocages) that specifically target human hepatocyte-like HepaRG cells in which a specific receptor-binding peptide (preS1) is joined to the surface of naturally occurring ferritin cages. Using a genetic engineering approach, the preS1 peptide was joined to the N-terminal regions of the ferritin cage via flexible linker moieties. Myristoylation of the preS1 peptide was achieved by co-expression with yeast N-myristoyltransferase-1 in the presence of myristic acid in Escherichia coli cells. The myristoylated preS1-nanocages exhibited significantly greater specificity for human hepatocyte-like HepaRG cells than the unmyristoylated preS1-nanocages. These results suggest that the lipid-modified nanocages have great potential for effective targeted delivery to specific cells.
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