ECNU makes progress in cytosolic protein delivery research


ECNU Prof. Cheng Yiyun’s team at Shanghai Key Laboratory of Regulatory Biology, School of Life Sciences has published their research results in renowned academic journal Nature Communications on April 10th. The work is titled “The fluorination effect of fluoroamphiphiles in cytosolic protein delivery”.

Nature Communications publishes the research results of Prof. Cheng's team.

Prof. Cheng’s team of biological scientists focused much of their attention on understanding new, emerging concepts in the applications of biotherapy, gene delivery, and protein delivery. For instance, they reported that an efficient protein delivery system can link with nanoparticles via the co-assembly of fluoroamphiphiles and proteins. Since Fluorous substituents on the amphiphiles play essential roles in the formation of uniform nanoparticles, avoiding protein denaturation, efficient endocytosis, and maintaining low cytotoxicity, their research findings come at a crucial juncture in exploring such functions in biotherapy and delivery. 

The fluoroamphiphiles show advantages in several aspects.

Furthermore, structure-activity relationship studies reveal that longer fluorous-chain length and higher degrees of fluorination contribute to a more efficient protein delivery, but excess fluorophilicity on the polymer leads to the pre-assembly of fluoroamphiphiles, which forms into stable vesicles, and thus fails in protein encapsulation and cytosolic delivery. This study highlights the advantage of fluoroamphiphiles over other existing strategies for intracellular protein delivery.

In conclusion, Prof. Cheng’s team found the fluorination effect of polymers in cytosolic protein delivery. The fluoroamphiphiles show advantages in several aspects including improved protein encapsulation, avoiding protein denaturation, facilitated cellular uptake, and limited material toxicity in comparison with non-fluorinated materials. This means that fluoroamphiphiles facilitate the delivery of proteins into cells without the need of protein modification.

For more information on the research work of Prof.Cheng Yiyun and the School of Life Sciences, click the link below to read the full article.

Link to the paper published:


East China Normal University