Background: The intracellular delivery of enzymes for therapeutic use has a promising future for the treatment of several diseases such as genetic disorders and cancer. Virus-like particles offer an interesting platform for enzymatic delivery to targeted cells because of their great cargo capacity and the enhancement of the biocatalyst stability towards several factors important in the practical application of these nanoparticles. Results: We have designed a nano-bioreactor based on the encapsulation of a cytochrome P450 (CYP) inside the capsid derived from the bacteriophage P22. An enhanced peroxigenase, CYPBM3, was selected as a model enzyme because of its potential in enzyme prodrug therapy. A total of 109 enzymes per capsid were encapsulated with a 70% retention of activity for cytochromes with the correct incorporation of the heme cofactor. Upon encapsulation, the stability of the enzyme towards protease degradation and acidic pH was increased. Cytochrome P450 activity was delivered into Human cervix carcinoma cells via transfecting P22-CYP nanoparticles with lipofectamine. Conclusion: This work provides a clear demonstration of the potential of biocatalytic virus-like particles as medical relevant enzymatic delivery vehicles for clinical applications.


This article is published by BioMed Central and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


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