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Nanomedicine (Lond). 2014 Jul;9(14):2217-32. doi: 10.2217/nnm.14.90.

Peptide vectors for gene delivery: from single peptides to multifunctional peptide nanocarriers.

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Department of Pharmaceutics, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Utrecht, Universiteitsweg 99, 3584 CG Utrecht, The Netherlands.


The therapeutic use of nucleic acids relies on the availability of sophisticated delivery systems for targeted and intracellular delivery of these molecules. Such a gene delivery should possess essential characteristics to overcome several extracellular and intracellular barriers. Peptides offer an attractive platform for nonviral gene delivery, as several functional peptide classes exist capable of overcoming these barriers. However, none of these functional peptide classes contain all the essential characteristics required to overcome all of the barriers associated with successful gene delivery. Combining functional peptides into multifunctional peptide vectors will be pivotal for improving peptide-based gene delivery systems. By using combinatorial strategies and high-throughput screening, the identification of multifunctional peptide vectors will accelerate the optimization of peptide-based gene delivery systems.


DNA-condensing peptides; cationic peptides; cell-penetrating peptides; fusion peptides; nanocarriers; nonviral gene delivery; peptide-guided gene delivery; protein engineering

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