Jason Kuhn

Carcinoembryonic antigen-like cell adhesion molecules (CEACAMs) are human cell-surface proteins that can exhibit increased expression on tumor cells and are thus a potential target for novel tumor-seeking therapeutic delivery methods. We hypothesize that engineered nanoparticles containing a known interaction partner of CEACAM, Neisseria gonorrhoeae outer membrane protein Opa, can be used to deliver cargo to specific cellular targets. In this study, the cell association and uptake of protein-free liposomes and Opa proteoliposomes into CEACAM-expressing cells were measured using imaging flow cytometry. A size-dependent internalization of liposomes into HeLa cells was observed through endocytic pathways. Opa-dependent, CEACAM1-mediated uptake of liposomes into HeLa cells was observed, with limited colocalization with endosomal and lysosomal trafficking compartments. Given the overexpression of CEACAM1 on several distinct cancers and interest in using CEACAM1 as a component in treatment strategies, these results support further pursuit of investigating Opa-dependent specificity and the internalization mechanism for therapeutic delivery.

Kuhn J, Smirnov A, Criss AK, Columbus L. Quantifying Carcinoembryonic Antigen-like Cell Adhesion Molecule-Targeted Liposome Delivery Using Imaging Flow Cytometry. Mol Pharm. 16:2354-2363 (2019).

Columbus Lab Members Presents at the 59th Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society

Four graduate students attended the 2015 Annual Biophysical Society Meeting in Baltimore on Febreuary 7-11.

Jennifer Martin presented a platform talk entitled Insights into the Specificity of Neisserial Opa Protein Interactions with Human Receptors.

Ashton Brock presented a poster entitled Systematic Perturbations of Micelle Properties to Investigate the Stabilization of Membrane Protein Structure and Function.

Marrissa Keiber presented a poster entitled Neisserial Opa Protein Dynamics and Interaction with Host CEACAM Receptors.

Jason Kuhn presented a poster entitled Interactions of Liposomal Opa Proteins with Human Cell Surface CEACAM Receptors.

Postdocotral Fellow with Dr. David Carter at Oxford Brookes University


PhD: Chemistry, University of Virginia (2018)
BS: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (2010)

Jason research focused on the binding and uptake of Opa proteoliposomes into target cells expressing surface CEACAM receptors. He investigated which cellular uptake mechanisms Opa proteoliposomes engage as well as their intracellular processing following cell entry. Liposomes are clinically useful for their ability to enhance therapeutic delivery of drug and imaging compounds to target cells, and Jason was particularly interested in exploring the potential of Opa proteoliposomes to target delivery to specific cell phenotypes.

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