Tobacco Mosaic Virus Delivery of Phenanthriplatin for Cancer therapy

Anna E. Czapar, Yao Rong Zheng, Imogen A. Riddell, Sourabh Shukla, Samuel G. Awuah, Stephen J. Lippard, Nicole F. Steinmetz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

132 Scopus citations


Phenanthriplatin, cis-[Pt(NH3)2Cl(phenanthridine)](NO3), is a cationic monofunctional DNA-binding platinum(II) anticancer drug candidate with unusual potency and cellular response profiles. Its in vivo efficacy has not yet been demonstrated, highlighting the need for a delivery system. Here we report tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) as a delivery system for phenanthriplatin. TMV forms hollow nanotubes with a polyanionic interior surface; capitalizing on this native structure, we developed a one-step phenanthriplatin loading protocol. Phenanthriplatin release from the carrier is induced in acidic environments. This delivery system, designated PhenPt-TMV, exhibits matched efficacy in a cancer cell panel compared to free phenanthriplatin. In vivo tumor delivery and efficacy were confirmed by using a mouse model of triple negative breast cancer. Tumors treated with PhenPt-TMV were 4× smaller than tumors treated with free phenanthriplatin or cisplatin, owing to increased accumulation of phenanthriplatin within the tumor tissue. The biology-derived TMV delivery system may facilitate translation of phenanthriplatin into the clinic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4119-4126
Number of pages8
JournalACS Nano
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 26 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by grants from the National Cancer Institute (CA 034992 to S.J.L.), National Science Foundation (CHE 1306447 to N.F.S.), and Mt. Sinai Foundation (to N.F.S.). A.E.C. was supported in part by NIH grants T32 GM007250 and TL1 TR000441.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Chemical Society.


  • cancer therapy
  • drug delivery
  • metals in medicine
  • nanotechnology
  • tobacco mosaic virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science (all)
  • Engineering (all)
  • Physics and Astronomy (all)


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