Hepcidin a 25-amino-acid and highly disulfide bonded hormone, is the central regulator of iron homeostasis. In this chapter we propose ferritin as a peptide carrier to promote the association of the hybrid hepcidin/ferritin nanoparticle with a particular cell or tissue for therapeutic or diagnostic use. Indeed, human ferritin H-chain fused directly (on its 5’end) with camel mature hepcidin was cloned into the pASK-43 plus vector and expressed using BL21 (DE3) pLys E. coli strain. The transformed E.coli produced efficiently hepcidin-ferritin construct (hepcH), consisting of 213 amino acids with a molecular weight of 24 KDa. The recovered product is a ferritin exposing hepcidin on outer surface. The hepcH monomer was characterized by immunoblotting using a monoclonal antibody specific for human ferritin and a polyclonal antibody specific for hepcidin-25. The results were also confirmed by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. The recombinant native human ferritin and the commercial human hepcidin-25 were used as controls in this experiment. The assembly of hepcH, as an heteropolymer molecule, was performed in presence of denatured human ferritin-H and -L chains. After cysteine oxidation of the recombinant nanoparticles, cellular binding assays were performed on mammalian cells such as mouse monocyte–macrophage cell line J774, HepG2 and COS7.
Part of the book: Biomechanics and Functional Tissue Engineering