A protein chimera self-assembling unit for drug delivery

Adriana Amalfitano, Cecilia Martini, Giuseppina Nocca, Massimiliano Papi, Marco De Spirito, Maurizio Sanguinetti, Alberto Vitali, Francesca Bugli, Alessandro Arcovito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the modern view of selective drug delivery of bioactive molecules, the attention is moving onto the setup of the perfect carrier more than in the optimization of the active compound. In this respect, virus-like particles constitute bioinspired nanodevices with the intrinsic ability to transport a large class of molecules, ranging from smart drugs to small interfering RNAs. In this work, we demonstrate the efficacy of a novel construct obtained by fusing a self-assembling protein from the human Rotavirus A, VP6, with the Small Ubiquitin Modifier domain, which maintains the ability to form nanoparticles and nanotubes and is able to be used as a drug carrier, even without specific targeting epitopes. The high expression and purification yield, combined with low toxicity of the empty particles, clearly indicate a good candidate for future studies of selective drug delivery.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBiotechnology Progress
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018


  • innovative biotechnologies
  • personalized medicine
  • targeted therapy
  • virus-like particles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology


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