A means for targeting therapeutics to peripheral nervous system neurons with axonal damage.

Neurosurgery (Impact Factor: 3.03). 06/2007; 60(5):911-8; discussion 911-8. DOI: 10.1227/01.NEU.0000255444.44365.B9
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Delivery of biological therapeutics to motor and dorsal root ganglion neurons remains a major hurdle in the development of treatments for a variety of neurological processes, including peripheral nerve injury, pain, and motor neuron diseases. Because nerve cell bodies are important in initiating and controlling axonal regeneration, targeted delivery is an appealing strategy to deliver therapeutic proteins after peripheral nerve injury.
Tet1 is a 12-aa peptide, isolated through phage display that is selected for tetanus toxin C fragment-like binding properties. In this study, we surveyed its uptake and retrograde transport using compartmented cultures and sciatic nerve injections. We then characterized the time course of this delivery. Finally, to confirm the retrograde transport involvement, a colchicine pretreatment was performed. We also performed competitive binding studies between Tet1 and a recombinant tetanus toxin C fragment using recombinant tetanus toxin C fragment enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
We were able to demonstrate efficient uptake and retrograde axonal transport of the Tet1 peptide in vitro and in vivo. Intraneural colchicine pretreatment partially blocked fluorescence detection in the spinal cord, revealing a retrograde axonal transport mechanism. Finally, a competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay experiment revealed Tet1-specific binding to the recombinant tetanus toxin C fragment axon terminal trisialogangliosides receptor.
These properties of Tet1 can be applied to the development of therapeutic viral vectors and fusion proteins for neuronal targeting and enhanced spinal cord delivery in the treatment of nerve regeneration, neuroprotection, analgesia, and spasticity. Small peptides can be easily fused to larger proteins without significantly modifying their function and can be used to alter the binding and uptake properties of these proteins.

  • Source
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Neuron-targeted nucleic acid delivery systems are important technologies for realizing the potential of gene therapy for nervous system disorders. However, neurons are difficult cells to transfect using non-viral vectors due in part to the specific and unique delivery challenges present in these cells. We have investigated several bioactive peptides for their ability to assist in overcoming delivery barriers in mammalian cells. We summarize here our recent progress in developing and applying peptide-modified polycations for nucleic acid delivery. In addition, we present data demonstrating the potential of using multicomponent, peptide-modified polycations for nucleic acid delivery to neurons.
    Journal of Controlled Release 12/2008; 132(3):230-5. DOI:10.1016/j.jconrel.2008.06.012 · 7.26 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Apoptosis has been shown to play an important role in motor neuron (MN) degeneration in both neurodegenerative disease and peripheral neuropathy. Bcl-xL, an antiapoptotic protein, is down-regulated in these etiologies [corrected] The carboxyl-terminal domain of the tetanus toxin heavy chain (Hc) has high affinity for axon terminal binding and uptake into motor and dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. We report the development of a fusion protein between Hc and Bcl-xL to enhance uptake of Bcl-xL by MNs as a strategy for inhibiting peripheral neuronal apoptosis. The genes for Hc, Bcl-xL, and green fluorescent protein were cloned into an Escherichia coli expression system in 2 different arrangements. Fusion proteins were purified through chromatography. Cultured E15 rat spinal cord MNs and DRG cells were used to demonstrate neuron-specific uptake and retrograde transport of the fusion proteins mediated by Hc. Finally, glutamate-induced apoptosis was used as an in vitro model to measure the antiapoptotic effects of the fusion proteins. Bcl-xL fusion proteins were found to bind specifically and undergo uptake into cultured rat spinal MNs. The fusion proteins were also taken up by DRG axonal terminals and transported back to the cell bodies in Campenot compartmentalized chambers (Tyler Research Corp., Edmonton, Canada). Finally, fusion protein application improved cell survival and decreased apoptosis in glutamate-mediated excitotoxicity of the SH-SY5Y neuronal cells. Hc can be applied as a universal carrier for therapeutic cargo delivery specifically to MNs or DRGs. The fusion proteins between Bcl-xL and Hc constructed in this study might bear applications to the treatment of MN disease, neuropathy, or nerve injury through nerve or intramuscular injection.
    Neurosurgery 01/2009; 63(6):1175-82; discussion 1182-4. DOI:10.1227/01.NEU.0000334415.45003.EA · 3.03 Impact Factor