Uptake kinetics of cell-penetrating peptides.
Florén A., Mäger I., Langel U.
As our knowledge increases about the diversity in uptake mechanisms displayed by cell-penetrating peptides (CPP), the concept of CPP uptake kinetics becomes increasingly complex. Here, we present three different assays that can be used for studying different kinetic aspects of CPP-mediated delivery: intracellular accumulation and membranolytical effects, intracellular CPP-cargo detachment, and finally a functional readout of a biological action from the delivered cargo. Unlike the traditional end-point measurements that give a static postincubation readout, these assays are all dynamic, real-time, in situ measurements obtained during incubation. A combination of some (or all) of these different assays gives us not only interesting kinetic information about the uptake routes but also provides a simple and valuable methodology for the evaluation of potential drug candidates based on the chemical modification of CPPs by cargo attachment.