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Cell-penetrating peptides, electroporation and drug delivery

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1 Author(s)
Cahill, K. ; Dept. of Phys. & Astron., Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA

Certain short polycations, such as trans-activating transcriptional activator and oligoarginine, rapidly pass through the plasma membranes of mammalian cells by a mechanism called transduction, as well as by endocytosis and macropinocytosis. These cell-penetrating peptides can carry with them cargos of 30 amino acids, more than the nominal limit of 500 Da and enough to be therapeutic. An analysis of the electrostatics of a charge outside the cell membrane and some recent experiments suggest that transduction may proceed by molecular electroporation. Ways to target diseased cells, rather than all cells, are discussed.

Published in:

Systems Biology, IET  (Volume:4 ,  Issue: 6 )