Investigation of the sequence and length dependence for cell-penetrating prenylated peptides.
ABSTRACT: Cell penetrating peptides are useful delivery tools for introducing molecules of interest into cells. A new class of cell penetrating molecules has been recently reported-cell penetrating, prenylated peptides. In this study a series of such peptides was synthesized to examine the relationship between peptide sequence and level of peptide internalization and to probe their mechanism of internalization. This study revealed that prenylated peptides internalize via a non-endocytotic pathway regardless of sequence. Sequence length and identity was found to play a role in peptide uptake but prenylated sequences as short as two amino acids were found to exhibit significant cell penetrating properties.
Project description:Protein prenylation involves the addition of either a farnesyl (C(15)) or geranylgeranyl (C(20)) isoprenoid moiety onto the C-terminus of many proteins. This natural modification serves to direct a protein to the plasma membrane of the cell. A recently discovered application of prenylated peptides is that they have inherent cell-penetrating ability, and are hence termed cell penetrating prenylated peptides. These peptides are able to efficiently cross the cell membrane in an ATP independent, non-endocytotic manner and it was found that the sequence of the peptide does not affect uptake, so long as the geranylgeranyl group is still present [Wollack, J. W.; Zeliadt, N. A.; Mullen, D. G.; Amundson, G.; Geier, S.; Falkum, S.; Wattenberg, E. V.; Barany, G.; Distefano, M. D. Multifunctional Prenylated Peptides for Live Cell Analysis. J. Am. Chem. Soc.2009, 131, 7293-7303]. The present study investigates the effect of removing the fluorophore from the peptides and investigating the uptake by confocal microscopy and flow cytometry. Our results show that the fluorophore is not necessary for uptake of these peptides. This information is significant because it indicates that the prenyl group is the major determinant in allowing these peptides to enter cells; the hydrophobic fluorophore has little effect. Moreover, these studies demonstrate the utility of the Cu-catalyzed click reaction for monitoring the entry of nonfluorescent peptides into cells.
Project description:Protein prenylation is a common post-translational modification present in eukaryotic cells. Many key proteins involved in signal transduction pathways are prenylated, and inhibition of prenylation can be useful as a therapeutic intervention. While significant progress has been made in understanding protein prenylation in vitro, we have been interested in studying this process in living cells, including the question of where prenylated molecules localize. Here, we describe the synthesis and live cell analysis of a series of fluorescently labeled multifunctional peptides, based on the C-terminus of the naturally prenylated protein CDC42. A synthetic route was developed that features a key Acm to Scm protecting group conversion. This strategy was compatible with acid-sensitive isoprenoid moieties and allowed incorporation of an appropriate fluorophore as well as a cell-penetrating sequence (penetratin). These peptides are able to enter cells through different mechanisms, depending on the presence or absence of the penetratin vehicle and the nature of the prenyl group attached. Interestingly, prenylated peptides lacking penetratin are able to enter cells freely through an energy-independent process and localize in a perinuclear fashion. This effect extends to a prenylated peptide that includes a full "CAAX box" sequence (specifically, CVLL). Hence, these peptides open the door for studies of protein prenylation in living cells, including enzymatic processing and intracellular peptide trafficking. Moreover, the synthetic strategy developed here should be useful for the assembly of other types of peptides that contain acid-sensitive functionalities.
Project description:Arginine-rich cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs), including human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) Tat (48-60) and oligoarginines, have been applied as carriers for delivery of cargo molecules, because of their capacity to internalize into cells and penetrate biological membranes. Despite the fact that they have been extensively studied, the factors required for the efficient internalization of CPPs are still unclear. In this report, we evaluated the internalization efficiencies of seven CPPs derived from DNA/RNA-binding peptides, and discovered that a peptide derived from the flock house virus (FHV) coat protein was internalized most efficiently into Chinese hamster ovary (CHO-K1), HeLa, and Jurkat cells. Comparison of the factors facilitating the internalization with those of the Tat peptide revealed that the FHV peptide induces macropinocytosis much more efficiently than the Tat peptide, which leads to its high cellular uptake efficiency. Additionally, the strong adsorption of the FHV peptide on cell membranes via glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) was shown to be a key factor for induction of macropinocytosis, and these steps were successfully monitored by live imaging of the peptide internalization into cells in relation to the actin organization. The remarkable methods of FHV peptide internalization thus highlighted the critical factors for internalizations of the arginine-rich CPPs.
Project description:Bioactive peptide LL-37/hCAP18, the only human member of the cathelicidin family, plays important roles in killing various pathogens, as well as in immune modulation. We demonstrate that LL-37 is internalized by human macrophages in a time-, dose-, temperature-, and peptide sequence-dependent endocytotic process. Both clathrin- and caveolae/lipid raft-mediated endocytosis pathways are involved in LL-37 internalization. We find that the P2X7 receptor (P2X7R) plays an important role in LL-37 internalization by human macrophages because significantly less internalized LL-37 was detected in macrophages pretreated with P2X7R antagonists or, more specifically, in differentiated THP-1 cells in which the P2X7R gene had been silenced. Furthermore, this P2X7R-mediated LL-37 internalization is primarily connected to the clathrin-mediated endocytosis pathway. In addition, our results demonstrate that internalized LL-37 traffics to endosomes and lysosomes and contributes to intracellular clearance of bacteria by human macrophages, coinciding with increased reactive oxygen species and lysosome formation. Finally, we show that human macrophages have the potential to import LL-37 released from activated human neutrophils. In conclusion, our study unveils a novel mechanism by which human macrophages internalize antimicrobial peptides to improve their intracellular pathogen clearance.
Project description:Within this study, we report about the design and biological characterization of novel cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) with selective suborganelle-targeting properties. The nuclear localization sequence N50, as well as the nucleoli-targeting sequence NrTP, respectively, were fused to a shortened version of the cell-penetrating peptide sC18. We examined cellular uptake, subcellular fate and cytotoxicity of these novel peptides, N50-sC18* and NrTP-sC18*, and found that they are nontoxic up to a concentration of 50 or 100 µM depending on the cell lines used. Moreover, detailed cellular uptake studies revealed that both peptides enter cells via energy-independent uptake, although endocytotic processes cannot completely excluded. However, initial drug delivery studies demonstrated the high versatility of these new peptides as efficient transport vectors targeting specifically nuclei and nucleoli. In future, they could be further explored as parts of newly created peptide-drug conjugates.
Project description:Cellular internalization of bacteriophage by surface-displayed cell penetrating peptides has been reported, though the underlying mechanism remains elusive. Here we describe in detail the internalization mechanism and intracellular trafficking and stability of filamentous M13 phages, the cellular entry of which is mediated by surface-displayed cell-penetrating light chain variable domain 3D8 VL transbody (3D8 VL-M13) or TAT peptide (TAT-M13). Recombinant 3D8 VL-M13 and TAT-M13 phages were efficiently internalized into living mammalian cells via physiologically relevant, energy-dependent endocytosis and were recovered from the cells in their infective form with the yield of 3D8 VL-M13 being higher (0.005 ? 0.01%) than that of TAT-M13 (0.001 ? 0.005%). Biochemical and genetic studies revealed that 3D8 VL-M13 was internalized principally by caveolae-mediated endocytosis via interaction with heparan sulfate proteoglycans as cell surface receptors, whereas TAT-M13 was internalized by clathrin- and caveolae-mediated endocytosis utilizing chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans as cell surface receptors, suggesting that phage internalization occurs by physiological endocytotic mechanism through specific cell surface receptors rather than non-specific transcytotic pathways. Internalized 3D8 VL-M13 phages routed to the cytosol and remained stable for more than 18 h without further trafficking to other subcellular compartments, whereas TAT-M13 phages routed to several subcellular compartments before being degraded in lysosomes even after 2 h of internalization. Our results suggest that the internalizing mechanism and intracellular trafficking of filamentous M13 bacteriophages largely follow the attributes of the displayed cell-penetrating moiety. Efficient internalization and cytosolic localization of 3D8 VL transbody-displayed phages will provide a useful tool for intracellular delivery of polar macromolecules such as proteins, peptides, and siRNAs.
Project description:Peptides, especially intracellular functional peptides that can play a particular role inside a cell, have attracted attention as promising materials to control cell fate. However, hydrophilic materials like peptides are difficult for cells to internalize. Therefore, the screening and design of intracellular functional peptides are more difficult than that of extracellular ones. An effective high-throughput screening system for intracellular functional peptides has not been reported. Here, we demonstrate a novel peptide array system for screening intracellular functional peptides, in which both cell-penetrating peptide (CPP) domain and photo-cleavable linkers are used. By using this screening system, we determined how the cellular uptake properties of CPP-conjugated peptides varied depending on the properties of the conjugated peptides. We found that the internalization ability of CPP-conjugated peptides varied greatly depending on the property of the conjugated peptides, and anionic peptides drastically decreased the uptake ability. We summarized our data in a scatter diagram that plots hydrophobicity versus isoelectric point (pI) of conjugated peptides. These results define a peptide library suitable for screening of intracellular functional peptides. Thus, our system, including the diagram, is a promising tool for searching biological active molecules such as peptide-based drugs.
Project description:Cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) share the property of cellular internalization. The question of how these peptides reach the cytoplasm of cells is still widely debated. Herein, we have used a mass spectrometry-based method that enables quantification of internalized and membrane-bound peptides. Internalization of the most used CPP was studied at 37 degrees C (endocytosis and translocation) and 4 degrees C (translocation) in wild type and proteoglycan-deficient Chinese hamster ovary cells. Both translocation and endocytosis are internalization pathways used by CPP. The choice of one pathway versus the other depends on the peptide sequence (not the number of positive changes), the extracellular peptide concentration, and the membrane components. There is no relationship between the high affinity of these peptides for the cell membrane and their internalization efficacy. Translocation occurs at low extracellular peptide concentration, whereas endocytosis, a saturable and cooperative phenomenon, is activated at higher concentrations. Translocation operates in a narrow time window, which implies a specific lipid/peptide co-import in cells.
Project description:Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecules (MHC-II) function by binding antigenic peptides and displaying these peptides on the surface of antigen presenting cells (APCs) for recognition by peptide-MHC-II (pMHC-II)-specific CD4 T cells. It is known that cell surface MHC-II can internalize, exchange antigenic peptides in endosomes, and rapidly recycle back to the plasma membrane; however, the molecular machinery and trafficking pathways utilized by internalizing/recycling MHC-II have not been identified. We now demonstrate that unlike newly synthesized invariant chain-associated MHC-II, mature cell surface pMHC-II complexes internalize following clathrin-, AP-2-, and dynamin-independent endocytosis pathways. Immunofluorescence microscopy of MHC-II expressing HeLa-CIITA cells, human B cells, and human DCs revealed that pMHC enters Arf6(+)Rab35(+)EHD1(+) tubular endosomes following endocytosis. These data contrast the internalization pathways followed by newly synthesized and peptide-loaded MHC-II molecules and demonstrates that cell surface pMHC-II internalize and rapidly recycle from early endocytic compartments in tubular endosomes.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Basic cell-penetrating peptides are potential vectors for therapeutic molecules and display antimicrobial activity. The peptide-membrane contact is the first step of the sequential processes leading to peptide internalization and cell activity. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in peptide-membrane interaction are not well understood and are frequently controversial. Herein, we compared the membrane activities of six basic peptides with different size, charge density and amphipaticity: Two cell-penetrating peptides (penetratin and R9), three amphipathic peptides and the neuromodulator substance P.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>Experiments of X ray diffraction, video-microscopy of giant vesicles, fluorescence spectroscopy, turbidimetry and calcein leakage from large vesicles are reported. Permeability and toxicity experiments were performed on cultured cells. The peptides showed differences in bilayer thickness perturbations, vesicles aggregation and local bending properties which form lipidic tubular structures. These structures invade the vesicle lumen in the absence of exogenous energy.<h4>Conclusions/significance</h4>We showed that the degree of membrane permeabilization with amphipathic peptides is dependent on both peptide size and hydrophobic nature of the residues. We propose a model for peptide-induced membrane perturbations that explains the differences in peptide membrane activities and suggests the existence of a facilitated "physical endocytosis," which represents a new pathway for peptide cellular internalization.