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ChemMedChem. 2008 Feb;3(2):241-53. doi: 10.1002/cmdc.200700216.

Generation of carrier peptides for the delivery of nucleic acid drugs in primary cells.

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1
Institute of Biochemistry, Faculty of Biosciences, Pharmacy and Psychology, Leipzig University, BrĂ¼derstr. 34, 04103 Leipzig, Germany.

Abstract

Now that the human genome has been decoded, the demand for novel therapeutic concepts, such as gene and stem cell therapy, is higher than ever before. Although new and better pharmaceutical agents are available, their efficient delivery to the intracellular site of action is still a serious challenge. A possible solution to this problem is the use of cell-penetrating peptides as delivery vectors, including derivatives of human calcitonin (hCT). The aim of this study was to synthesise novel branched hCT-derived peptides for the noncovalent delivery of nucleic acids. The uptake of the resulting oligocationic peptides into various cell lines as well as primary cells was monitored by fluorescence microscopy. To determine the appropriate peptide-plasmid charge ratios for efficient cell transfection, electromobility shift assays were carried out. Finally, flow cytometric and fluorescence microscopic studies of gene expression highlighted two novel hCT-derived peptides as highly effective in the delivery of noncovalently complexed plasmid DNA. Thus, the absence of cytotoxicity paired with highly efficient cell internalisation and transfection rates, in primary cells as well, make both peptides powerful candidates as drug delivery vectors, especially for plasmid DNA, for both in vivo and ex vivo therapeutic applications.

PMID:
18205166
DOI:
10.1002/cmdc.200700216
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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