Nanotheranostics 2020; 4(3):119-128. doi:10.7150/ntno.41741

Research Paper

Establishment of a hTfR mAb-functionalized HPPS theranostic nanoplatform

Qi He1,3*, Zilong Guo1*, Mingpeng Fu1, Hongling Tang1, Huifen Zhu1, Guanxin Shen1, Yong He2✉, Ping Lei1✉

1. Department of Immunology, School of Basic Medicine, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China.
2. Department of Nuclear Medicine and PET Center, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, China.
3. Department of Transfusion Medicine, Shandong Provincial Hospital affiliated to Shandong First Medical University, Jinan, China.
*Authors contributed equally

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( See for full terms and conditions.
He Q, Guo Z, Fu M, Tang H, Zhu H, Shen G, He Y, Lei P. Establishment of a hTfR mAb-functionalized HPPS theranostic nanoplatform. Nanotheranostics 2020; 4(3):119-128. doi:10.7150/ntno.41741. Available from

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Rational: Many efforts have been made to develop ligand-directed nanotheranostics in cancer management which could afford both therapeutic and diagnostic functions as well as tumor-tailored targeting. Theranostic nanoplatform targeting transferrin receptor (TfR) is an effective system for favorable delivery of diagnostic and therapeutic agents to malignancy site.

Methods: To enable amalgamation of therapy and diagnosis to many TfR+ tumor, hTfR (human TfR) monoclonal antibody (mAb)-functionalized HPPS nanoparticle (HPPS-mAb) was prepared with hTfR mAb on the shell and with fluorophore DiR-BOA in the core. The targeting specificity was investigated in vitro by immunostaining and in vivo using a double-tumor-engrafted mouse model. HPPS-mAb/siRNA effect on HepG2 cells was determined by RT-PCR and western blot.

Results: HPPS-mAb could specifically target cancer cells through TfR and achieve tumor accumulation at an early valuable time node, thus efficiently delivering therapeutic survivin siRNA into TfR+ HepG2 cells and mediating cell apoptosis. DiR-BOA can act as an imaging tool to diagnose cancer.

Conclusions: Our studies provide a promising TfR mAb-directed theranostic nanoplatform candidate in tumor molecular imaging and in TfR targeted tumor therapy.

Keywords: transferrin receptor, antibody, nanocarrier, active targeting, delivery