Dr. Mou, Yun

Associate Research Fellow
  • 2789-9035 (Lab) (Room No: N721)
  • 2652-3009 (Office)

  • Computational protein design
  • Antibody engineering
  • Immunotherapy
  • Cancer proteomics
  • CRISPR screening

Education and Positions:
    • B.S. National Taiwan University
    • M.S. National Taiwan University
    • Ph.D. California Institute of Technology
    • Postdoc. University of California, San Francisco

Highlight Detail

Development of a Novel Cytokine Vehicle Using Filamentous Phage Display for Colorectal Cancer Treatment

Dr. Mou, Yun
ACS Synthetic Biology, Aug 03, 2021



Due to its highly immunogenic nature and the great engineerability, filamentous phage has shown promising antitumor activities in preclinical studies. Previous designs of antitumor phage mainly focused on tumor targeting using a cancer-specific moiety displayed on the minor capsid protein, pIII. In this work, we developed a new therapeutic platform of filamentous phage, in which the major capsid protein pVIII was utilized for displaying an antitumor cytokine. We showcased that a 16.1-kD cytokine GM-CSF could be efficiently presented on the M13 phage particle using the 8 + 8 type display system through a highly tolerable pVIII variant P8(1a). We verified that the GM-CSF phage was a potent activator for STAT5 signaling in murine macrophage. The GM-CSF phage significantly reduced the tumor size by more than 50% as compared to the unmodified phage in a murine colorectal cancer model. Immunological profiling of the tumor-infiltrating leukocytes revealed that an increase of CD4+ lymphocytes in the GM-CSF phage treatment group. Furthermore, the combined therapy of the GM-CSF phage and radiation greatly improved the therapeutic potency with a 100% survival rate and a 25% complete remission rate. We observed that the IFN-γ expression was dramatically up-regulated by the combined therapy in multiple types of tumor-infiltrating immune cells. Overall, we created a novel vehicle for cytokine therapy using the pVIII filamentous phage display. This new platform can be multiplexed with other phage engineering approaches, such as displaying targeting ligands on pIII or encapsulating therapeutic genes inside phage capsids, to create multifunctional nanoparticles for cancer therapy.