Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Biochem J. 2006 Oct 1;399(1):1-7.

Cell-penetrating peptides and antimicrobial peptides: how different are they?

Author information

  • 1Centro de Química e Bioquímica, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Ed. C8, Campo Grande, 1749-016 Lisbon, Portugal.


Some cationic peptides, referred to as CPPs (cell-penetrating peptides), have the ability to translocate across biological membranes in a non-disruptive way and to overcome the impermeable nature of the cell membrane. They have been successfully used for drug delivery into mammalian cells; however, there is no consensus about the mechanism of cellular uptake. Both endocytic and non-endocytic pathways are supported by experimental evidence. The observation that some AMPs (antimicrobial peptides) can enter host cells without damaging their cytoplasmic membrane, as well as kill pathogenic agents, has also attracted attention. The capacity to translocate across the cell membrane has been reported for some of these AMPs. Like CPPs, AMPs are short and cationic sequences with a high affinity for membranes. Similarities between CPPs and AMPs prompted us to question if these two classes of peptides really belong to unrelated families. In this Review, a critical comparison of the mechanisms that underlie cellular uptake is undertaken. A reflection and a new perspective about CPPs and AMPs are presented.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Portland Press Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk