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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2008 Dec;1786(2):126-38. doi: 10.1016/j.bbcan.2008.03.001. Epub 2008 Apr 9.

Cell-penetrating and cell-targeting peptides in drug delivery.

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IRCM, Institut de Recherche en Cancérologie de Montpellier, Montpellier, F-34298, France.


During the last decade, the potential of peptides for drug delivery into cells has been highlighted by the discovery of several cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs). CPPs are very efficient in delivering various molecules into cells. However, except in some specific cases, their lack of cell specificity remains the major drawback for their clinical development. At the same time, various peptides with specific binding activity for a given cell line (cell-targeting peptides) have also been reported in the literature. One of the goals of the next years will be to optimize the tissue and cell delivery of therapeutic molecules by means of peptides which combine both targeting and internalization advantages. In this review, we describe the main strategies that are currently in use or likely to be employed in the near future to associate both targeting and delivery properties.

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