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Curr Protein Pept Sci. 2003 Apr;4(2):87-96.

Structural variety of membrane permeable peptides.

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Institute for Chemical Research, Kyoto University, Uji, Kyoto 611-0011, Japan.


Peptide-mediated protein delivery into living cells has been attracting our attention. Among the peptides that have been reported to have carrier activity, the one from the human immunodeficient virus (HIV)-1 Tat has been most often used for the introduction of exogenous macromolecules into cells. We have shown that not only the Tat peptide, but also various arginine-rich peptides showed very similar characteristics in translocation, and the possible presence of ubiquitous internalization mechanisms among the arginine-rich peptides has also been suggested. These arginine-rich peptides includes ones derived from HIV-1 Rev and flock house virus coat proteins. The linear- and branched-chain peptides containing approximately 8 residues of arginine also show a similar ability. In this review, we present the structural variety of membrane permeable peptides and provide a survey of the findings on the translocation of these peptides through the cell membranes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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