JOURNAL ARTICLE

Enzyme Encapsulation by a Ferritin Cage

Stephan Tetter, Donald Hilvert
Angewandte Chemie 2017 November 20, 56 (47): 14933-14936
28902449
Ferritins, conserved across all kingdoms of life, are protein nanocages that evolved to mineralize iron. The last several decades have shown that these cages have considerable technological and medical potential owing to their stability and tolerance to modification, as well as their ability to template nanoparticle synthesis and incorporate small molecules. Here we show that it is possible to encapsulate proteins in a ferritin cage by exploiting electrostatic interactions with its negatively charged interior. Positively supercharged green fluorescent protein is efficiently taken up by Archaeoglobus fulgidus ferritin in a tunable fashion. Moreover, several enzymes were readily incorporated when genetically tethered to this fluorescent protein. These fusion proteins retained high catalytic activity and showed increased tolerance to proteolysis and heat. Equipping ferritins with enzymatic activity paves the way for many new nanotechnological and pharmacological applications.

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