Tumor Biology

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 1229–1236 | Cite as

A new application of plant virus nanoparticles as drug delivery in breast cancer

  • Neda Esfandiari
  • Mohsen Karimi Arzanani
  • Masoud Soleimani
  • Mina Kohi-Habibi
  • Winnie E. Svendsen
Original Article


Nanoparticles based on non-pathogenic viruses have opened up a novel sector in nanotechnology. Viral nanoparticles based on plant viruses have clear advantages over any synthetic nanoparticles as they are biocompatible and biodegradable self-assembled and can be produced inexpensively on a large scale. From several such under-development platforms, only a few have been characterized in the target-specific drugs into the cells. Potato virus X is presented as a carrier of the chemotherapeutic drug Herceptin that is currently used as a targeted therapy in (HER2+) breast cancer patients. Here, we used nanoparticles formed from the potato virus X to conjugate the Herceptin (Trastuzumab) monoclonal antibody as a new option in specific targeting of breast cancer. Bioconjugation was performed by EDC/sulfo-n-hydroxysuccinimide (sulfo-NHS) in a two-step protocol. Then, the efficiency of conjugation was investigated by different methods, including sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), Western blot, ELISA, Zetasizer, and transmission electron microscopy. SDS-PAGE and Western blot analysis confirmed an 82-kDa protein band that resulted from conjugation of potato virus X (PVX) coat protein (27 kDa) to heavy chain of Herceptin (55 kDa). Zeta potential values for conjugated particles, PVX, and HER were −7.05, −21.4, and −1.48, respectively. We investigated the efficiency of PVX-Herceptin to induce SK-OV-3 and SK-BR-3 cells (HER2 positive cell lines) apoptosis. We therefore counted cells and measured apoptosis by flow cytometry assay, then compared with Herceptin alone. Based on our data, we confirmed the conjugation of PVX and Herceptin. This study suggests that the PVX-Herceptin conjugates enable Herceptin to become more potential therapeutic tools.


Plant viral nanoparticles Cancer Immunological test HER2+ cell lines 



We would like to express our appreciation for the cooperation we received from Stem Cell Technology Research Center and INSF throughout the project. The authors are grateful to DSMZ in Germany for TEM.

Conflict of interest


Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neda Esfandiari
    • 1
    • 4
  • Mohsen Karimi Arzanani
    • 2
  • Masoud Soleimani
    • 3
  • Mina Kohi-Habibi
    • 4
  • Winnie E. Svendsen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Micro and NanotechnologyTechnical University of DenmarkLyngbyDenmark
  2. 2.Division of Hematology, Department of MedicineKarolinska Institute, Karolinska University HospitalStockholmSweden
  3. 3.Department of Hematology, Faculty of Medical ScienceTarbiat Modares UniversityTehranIran
  4. 4.Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Sciences and Plant ProtectionTehran UniversityTehranIran

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