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Nanoscale. 2013 Oct 7;5(19):9110-7. doi: 10.1039/c3nr02694a. Epub 2013 Aug 1.

Peptide-based carbon nanotubes for mitochondrial targeting.

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Department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Trieste, Piazzale Europa 1, Trieste, 34127, Italy.


In the present study, we report the design and synthesis of peptide-based-multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) to target mitochondria. Targeting these intracellular organelles might open the way to develop alternative systems to address diseases related to genetic mutations in mitochondrial (mt)-DNA, by delivering therapeutic oligonucleotides. The first step towards mitochondrial delivery of this type of nucleic acid was to target MWCNTs to mitochondria by covalent functionalization with a well-known endogenous mitochondrial targeting sequence (MTS). The subcellular localization of the conjugates, which were fluorescently labeled, in murine RAW 264.7 macrophages and human HeLa cells was then studied using different microscopy techniques, such as wide-field epifluorescence microscopy, confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The localization of the MTS-MWCNT conjugates into mitochondria was further confirmed by analyzing the isolated organelles using TEM.

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