A Potential MRI Agent and an Anticancer Drug Encapsulated within CPMV Virus-Like Particles

Comb Chem High Throughput Screen. 2021;24(10):1557-1571. doi: 10.2174/1386207323666200914110012.


Background: Virus nanoparticles have been extensively studied over the past decades for theranostics applications. Viruses are well-characterized, naturally occurring nanoparticles that can be produced in high quantity with a high degree of similarity in both structure and composition.

Objectives: The plant virus Cowpea Mosaic Virus (CPMV) has been innovatively used as a nanoscaffold. Utilization of the internal cavity of empty Virus-Like Particles (VLPs) for the inclusion of therapeutics within the capsid has opened many opportunities in drug delivery and imaging applications.

Methods: The encapsidation of magnetic materials and anticancer drugs was achieved. SuperscriptCPMV denotes molecules attached to the external surface of CPMV and CPMVSubscript denotes molecules within the interior of the capsid.

Results: Here, the generation of novel VLPs incorporating iron-platinum nanoparticles TCPMVFePt and cisplatin (Cis) (TCPMVCis) is reported. TCPMVCis exhibited a cytotoxic IC50 of TCPMVCis on both A549 and MDA-MB-231 cell lines of 1.8 μM and 3.9 μM, respectively after 72 hours of incubation. The TCPMVFePt were prepared as potential MRI contrast agents.

Conclusion: Cisplatin loaded VLP (TCPMVCis) is shown to enhance cisplatin cytotoxicity in cancer cell lines with its potency increased by 2.3-folds.

Keywords: Virus-like particles; bioconjugation; cisplatin; drug delivery; nanomedicine.; viruses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Capsid Proteins / chemistry*
  • Capsules / chemistry
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Comovirus / chemistry*
  • Contrast Media / chemistry
  • Contrast Media / pharmacology*
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Capsid Proteins
  • Capsules
  • Contrast Media