Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you will not see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) are a promising group of delivery vectors for various therapeutic agents but their application is often hampered by poor stability in the presence of serum. Different strategies to improve peptide stability have been exploited, one of them being "retro-inversion" (RI) of natural peptides. With this approach the stability of CPPs has been increased, thereby making them more efficient transporters. Several RI-CPPs were here assessed and compared to the corresponding parent peptides in different cell-lines. Surprisingly, treatment of cells with these peptides induced trypsin insensitivity and rapid severe toxicity in contrast to L-peptides. This was measured as reduced metabolic activity and condensed cell nuclei, in parity with the apoptosis inducing agent staurosporine. Furthermore, effects on mitochondrial network, focal adhesions, actin cytoskeleton and caspase-3 activation were analyzed and adverse effects were evident at 20 μM peptide concentration within 4 h while parent L-peptides had negligible effects. To our knowledge this is the first time RI peptides are reported to cause cellular toxicity, displayed by decreased metabolic activity, morphological changes and induction of apoptosis. Considering the wide range of research areas that involves the use of RI-peptides, this finding is of major importance and needs to be taken under consideration in applications of RI-peptides.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.bbamem.2010.10.019

Type

Journal article

Journal

Biochim Biophys Acta

Publication Date

06/2011

Volume

1808

Pages

1544 - 1551

Keywords

Amino Acid Sequence, Apoptosis, Carrier Proteins, Caspase 3, Cell Line, Tumor, Cell Proliferation, Cell Survival, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Enzyme Activation, Fluoresceins, Gene Products, tat, HeLa Cells, Humans, Microscopy, Fluorescence, Molecular Sequence Data, Peptides