Macrophage hyperfunction or dysfunction is tightly associated with various diseases, such as osteoporosis, inflammatory disorder, and cancers. However, nearly all conventional drug delivery system (DDS) nanocarriers utilize endocytosis for entering target cells; thus, the development of macrophage-targeting and phagocytosis-inducing DDS nanocarriers for treating these diseases is required. In this study, we developed a hepatitis B virus (HBV) envelope L particle (i.e., bio-nanocapsule (BNC)) outwardly displaying a tandem form of protein G-derived IgG Fc-binding domain and protein L-derived IgG Fab-binding domain (GL-BNC). When conjugated with the macrophage-targeting ligand, mouse IgG2a (mIgG2a), the GL-BNC itself, and the liposome-fused GL-BNC (i.e., GL-virosome) spontaneously initiated aggregation by bridging between the Fc-binding domain and Fab-binding domain with mIgG2a. The aggregates were efficiently taken up by macrophages, whereas this was inhibited by latrunculin B, a phagocytosis-specific inhibitor. The mIgG2a-GL-virosome containing doxorubicin exhibited higher cytotoxicity toward macrophages than conventional liposomes and other BNC-based virosomes. Thus, GL-BNCs and GL-virosomes may constitute promising macrophage-targeting and phagocytosis-inducing DDS nanocarriers.
Statement of Significance:
We have developed a novel macrophage-targeting and phagocytosis-inducing bio-nanocapsule (BNC)-based nanocarrier named GL-BNC, which comprises a hepatitis B virus envelope L particle outwardly displaying protein G-derived IgG Fc- and protein L-derived IgG Fab-binding domains in tandem. The GL-BNC alone or liposome-fused form (GL-virosomes) could spontaneously aggregate when conjugated with macrophage-targeting IgGs, inducing phagocytosis by the interaction between IgG Fc of aggregates and FcγR on phagocytes. Thereby these aggregates were efficiently taken up by macrophages. GL-virosomes containing doxorubicin exhibited higher cytotoxicity towards macrophages than ZZ-virosomes and liposomes. Our results suggested that GL-BNCs and GL-virosomes would serve as promising drug delivery system nanocarriers for targeting delivery to macrophages.