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Drug delivery

Cell-penetrating peptides for prostate cancer

Cell culture studies suggest engineered, cell-penetrating peptides could be useful for delivering therapeutics into tumor cells. In cultured prostate cancer cells, phage-display selection identified 12-mer engineered peptides that penetrated into the cytoplasm at low picomolar concentrations. The best of these peptides had high selectivity for the chosen cell line but not for other tumor types. When coupled in multiple copies to green fluorescent protein (GFP), the best peptides induced higher intracellular fluorescence than previously described cell-penetrating peptides. Next steps include testing delivery of therapeutic cargoes coupled to the peptide in animals.

SciBX 6(18); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.447
Published online May 9, 2013

Patent pending; available for licensing

DePorter, S.M. et al. Chem. Biol.; published online March 21, 2013;
Contact: Brian R. McNaughton, Colorado State University,
Fort Collins, Colo.