[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Crossing biological barriers represents a major limitation for clinical applications of biomolecules such as nucleic acids, peptides or proteins. Cell penetrating peptides (CPP), also named protein transduction domains, comprise short and usually basic amino acids-rich peptides originating from proteins able to cross biological barriers, such as the viral Tat protein, or are rationally designed. They have emerged as a new class of non-viral vectors allowing the delivery of various biomolecules across biological barriers from low molecular weight drugs to nanosized particles. Encouraging data with CPP-conjugated oligonucleotides have been obtained both in vitro and in vivo in animal models of diseases such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Whether CPP-cargo conjugates enter cells by direct translocation across the plasma membrane or by endocytosis remains controversial. In many instances, however, endosomal escape appears as a major limitation of this new delivery strategy.
Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS 11/2009; 67(5):715-26. · 5.62 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rerouting the splicing machinery with steric-block oligonucleotides (ON) might lead to new therapeutic strategies in the treatment of diseases such as beta-thalassemia, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, or cancers. Interfering with splicing requires the sequence-specific and stable hybridization of RNase H-incompetent ON as peptide nucleic acids (PNA) or phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomers (PMO). Unfortunately, these uncharged DNA mimics are poorly taken up by most cell types and conventional delivery strategies that rely on electrostatic interaction do not apply. Likewise, conjugation to cell penetrating peptides (CPPs) as Tat, Arg9, Lys8, or Pen leads to poor splicing correction efficiency at low concentration essentially because PNA- and PMO-CPP conjugates remain entrapped within endocytotic vesicles. Recently, we have designed an arginine-rich peptide (R-Ahx-R)4 (with Ahx for aminohexanoic acid) and an arginine-tailed Penetratin derivative which allow sequence-specific and efficient splicing correction at low concentration in the absence of endosomolytic agents. Both CPPs are undergoing structure-activity relationship studies for further optimization as steric-block ON delivery vectors.
Journal of Peptide Science 05/2008; 14(4):455-60. · 2.07 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cationic CPPs (cell-penetrating peptides) have been used largely for intracellular delivery of low-molecular-mass drugs, biomolecules and particles. Most cationic CPPs bind to cell-associated glycosaminoglycans and are internalized by endocytosis, although the detailed mechanisms involved remain controversial. Sequestration and degradation in endocytic vesicles severely limits the efficiency of cytoplasmic and/or nuclear delivery of CPP-conjugated material. Re-routing the splicing machinery by using steric-block ON (oligonucleotide) analogues, such as PNAs (peptide nucleic acids) or PMOs (phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomers), has consequently been inefficient when ONs are conjugated with standard CPPs such as Tat (transactivator of transcription), R(9) (nona-arginine), K(8) (octalysine) or penetratin in the absence of endosomolytic agents. New arginine-rich CPPs such as (R-Ahx-R)(4) (6-aminohexanoic acid-spaced oligo-arginine) or R(6) (hexa-arginine)-penetratin conjugated to PMO or PNA resulted in efficient splicing correction at non-cytotoxic doses in the absence of chloroquine. SAR (structure-activity relationship) analyses are underway to optimize these peptide delivery vectors and to understand their mechanisms of cellular internalization.
Biochemical Society Transactions 09/2007; 35(Pt 4):775-9. · 2.59 Impact Factor