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Eur J Pharm Biopharm. 2008 Feb;68(2):441-5. Epub 2007 Oct 5.

Enhanced skin penetration of P20 phosphopeptide using protein transduction domains.

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  • 1Center for Metabolic Biology, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA.


Protein transduction domains (PTDs) were recently demonstrated to increase the penetration of the model peptide P20 when the PTD and P20 were covalently attached. Here, we evaluated whether non-covalently linked PTDs were capable of increasing the skin penetration of P20. Two different PTDs were studied: YARA and WLR. Porcine ear skin mounted in a Franz diffusion cell was used to assess the penetration of P20 in the stratum corneum (SC) and viable skin (VS); VS consists of dermis and epidermis without SC. The transdermal delivery of P20 was also assessed. At 1mM, YARA promoted a 2.33-fold increase in the retention of P20 in the SC but did not significantly increase the amount of P20 that reached VS. WLR significantly increased (2.88-fold) the penetration of P20 in VS. Compared to the non-attached form, the covalently linked WLR fragment was two times more effective in promoting the penetration of P20 into VS. None of the PTDs promoted transdermal delivery of P20 at 4h post-application. It was concluded that selected non-covalently linked PTDs can be used as a penetration enhancer, but greater skin penetration efficiency can be achieved by covalently binding the PTD to the therapeutic agent.

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