Researchers at Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) have developed an exosome that can effectively break down the extracellular matrix around the cancer cell, the institute said Monday.
The exosome is a cell-mediated intercellular signaling nanomaterial that has emerged as a key issue in recent cell regeneration, therapy, and diagnostic research.
The research team led by KIST Professors Kim In-san and Yang Yoo-soo developed an enzymatic exosome, which harbors native PH20 hyaluronidase (Exo-PH20). Exo-PH20 can effectively break down extracellular matrix around cancer cells increasing drug and immune cell penetration. An animal trial on the substance also proved to inhibit cancer growth in tumors.
Hyaluronidase, the exosome’s primary substance, is a protein expressed on the cell membrane surface. Despite its various use, the expression and purification conditions are difficult to establish. Therefore, it is produced in a recombinant protein state with the part linked to the membrane truncated.
However, the hyaluronidase developed by the KIST researchers is bound to the exosome membrane and is more active compared to other recombinant human hyaluronidases.
“This study suggests the possibility of using exosome as a membrane protein therapy,” Professor Yang said. “Our team expects that exosome containing hyaluronidase will be used as anticancer therapeutic agent and drug delivery system.”
The results of the study were published in a recent online edition of Advanced Functional Materials, a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
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