Cell-penetrating peptide induces leaky fusion of liposomes containing late endosome-specific anionic lipid.
ABSTRACT: Cationic cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) are a promising vehicle for the delivery of macromolecular drugs. Although many studies have indicated that CPPs enter cells by endocytosis, the mechanisms by which they cross endosomal membranes remain elusive. On the basis of experiments with liposomes, we propose that CPP escape into the cytosol is based on leaky fusion (i.e., fusion associated with the permeabilization of membranes) of the bis(monoacylglycero)phosphate (BMP)-enriched membranes of late endosomes. In our experiments, prototypic CPP HIV-1 TAT peptide did not interact with liposomes mimicking the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane, but it did induce lipid mixing and membrane leakage as it translocated into liposomes mimicking the lipid composition of late endosome. Both membrane leakage and lipid mixing depended on the BMP content and were promoted at acidic pH, which is characteristic of late endosomes. Substitution of BMP with its structural isomer, phosphatidylglycerol (PG), significantly reduced both leakage of the aqueous probe from liposomes and lipid mixing between liposomes. Although affinity of binding to TAT was similar for BMP and PG, BMP exhibited a higher tendency to support the inverted hexagonal phase than PG. Finally, membrane leakage and peptide translocation were both inhibited by inhibitors of lipid mixing, further substantiating the hypothesis that cationic peptides cross BMP-enriched membranes by inducing leaky fusion between them.
Project description:Many cellular delivery reagents enter the cytosolic space of cells by escaping the lumen of endocytic organelles and, more specifically, late endosomes. The mechanisms involved in endosomal membrane permeation remain largely unresolved, which impedes the improvement of delivery agents. Here, we investigate how 3TAT, a branched analog of the cell-penetrating peptide (CPP) TAT, achieves the permeabilization of bilayers containing bis(monoacylglycero)phosphate (BMP), a lipid found in late endosomes. We establish that the peptide does not induce the leakage of individual lipid bilayers. Instead, leakage requires contact between membranes. Peptide-driven bilayer contacts lead to fusion, lipid mixing, and, critically, peptide encapsulation within proximal bilayers. Notably, this encapsulation is a distinctive property of BMP that explains the specificity of CPP's membrane leakage activity. These results therefore support a model of cell penetration that requires both BMP and the vicinity between bilayers, two features unique to BMP-rich and multivesicular late endosomes.
Project description:Although cationic cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) are able to bind to cell membranes, thus promoting cell internalization by active pathways, attachment of cargo molecules to CPPs invariably reduces their cellular uptake. We show here that CPP binding to lipid bilayers, a simple model of the cell membrane, can be recovered by designing cargo molecules that self-assemble into spherical micelles and increase the local interfacial density of CPP on the surface of the cargo. Experiments performed on model giant unilamellar vesicles under a confocal laser scanning microscope show that a family of thermally responsive elastin-like polypeptides that exhibit temperature-triggered micellization can promote temperature triggered attachment of the micelles to membranes, thus rescuing by self-assembly the cargo-induced loss of the CPP affinity to bio-membranes.
Project description:Peptide-based vaccine development represents a highly promising strategy for preventing Group A Streptococcus (GAS) infection. However, these vaccines need to be administered with the help of a delivery system and/or immune adjuvant. Cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) have been used as a powerful tool for delivering various therapeutic agents, including peptides, as they can overcome the permeability barrier of cell membranes. Here, we used CPPs to deliver our lead lipopeptide-based vaccine (LCP-1). CPPs were anchored through a spacer to LCP-1-bearing multilamellar and unilamellar liposomes and administered to Swiss outbred mice. Tat<sub>47-57</sub> conjugated to two palmitic acids via a (Gly)<sub>6</sub> spacer (to form a liposome-anchoring moiety) was the most efficient system for triggering immune responses when combined with multilamellar liposomes bearing LCP-1. The immunostimulatory potential of a variety of other CPPs was examined following intranasal administration in mice. Among them, LCP-1/liposomes/Tat<sub>47-57</sub> and LCP-1/liposomes/KALA induced the highest antibody titers. The antibodies produced showed high opsonic activity against clinically isolated GAS strains D3840 and GC2 203. The use of the CPP-liposome delivery system is a promising strategy for liposome-based GAS vaccine development.
Project description:Enveloped viruses use specialized protein machinery to fuse the viral membrane with that of the host cell during cell invasion. In influenza virus, hundreds of copies of the haemagglutinin (HA) fusion glycoprotein project from the virus surface. Despite intensive study of HA and its fusion activity, the protein's modus operandi in manipulating viral and target membranes to catalyse their fusion is poorly understood. Here, the three-dimensional architecture of influenza virus-liposome complexes at pH 5.5 was investigated by electron cryo-tomography. Tomographic reconstructions show that early stages of membrane remodeling take place in a target membrane-centric manner, progressing from punctate dimples, to the formation of a pinched liposomal funnel that may impinge on the apparently unperturbed viral envelope. The results suggest that the M1 matrix layer serves as an endoskeleton for the virus and a foundation for HA during membrane fusion. Fluorescence spectroscopy monitoring fusion between liposomes and virions shows that leakage of liposome contents takes place more rapidly than lipid mixing at pH 5.5. The relation of 'leaky' fusion to the observed prefusion structures is discussed.
Project description:Various densely charged polycationic species, whether of biological or synthetic origin, can penetrate human cells, albeit with variable efficiencies. The molecular underpinnings involved in such transport remain unclear. Herein, we assemble 1, 2 or 3 copies of the HIV peptide TAT on a synthetic scaffold to generate branched cell-permeable prototypes with increasing charge density. We establish that increasing TAT copies dramatically increases the cell penetration efficiency of the peptides while simultaneously enabling the efficient cytosolic delivery of macromolecular cargos. Cellular entry involves the leaky fusion of late endosomal membranes enriched with the anionic lipid BMP. Derivatives with multiple TAT branches induce the leakage of BMP-containing lipid bilayers, liposomal flocculation, fusion and an increase in lamellarity. In contrast, while the monomeric counterpart 1TAT binds to the same extent and causes liposomal flocculation, 1TAT does not cause leakage, induce fusion or a significant increase in lamellarity. Overall, these results indicate that an increase in charge density of these branched structures leads to the emergence of lipid specific membrane-disrupting and cell-penetrating activities.
Project description:Cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs), such as the HIV TAT peptide, are able to translocate across cellular membranes efficiently. A number of mechanisms, from direct entry to various endocytotic mechanisms (both receptor independent and receptor dependent), have been observed but how these specific amino acid sequences accomplish these effects is unknown. We show how CPP sequences can multiplex interactions with the membrane, the actin cytoskeleton, and cell-surface receptors to facilitate different translocation pathways under different conditions. Using "nunchuck" CPPs, we demonstrate that CPPs permeabilize membranes by generating topologically active saddle-splay ("negative Gaussian") membrane curvature through multidentate hydrogen bonding of lipid head groups. This requirement for negative Gaussian curvature constrains but underdetermines the amino acid content of CPPs. We observe that in most CPP sequences decreasing arginine content is offset by a simultaneous increase in lysine and hydrophobic content. Moreover, by densely organizing cationic residues while satisfying the above constraint, TAT peptide is able to combine cytoskeletal remodeling activity with membrane translocation activity. We show that the TAT peptide can induce structural changes reminiscent of macropinocytosis in actin-encapsulated giant vesicles without receptors.
Project description:Cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) are used for various applications, especially in the biomedical field. Recently, CPPs have been used as a part of carrier to deliver proteins and/or genes into plant cells and tissues; hence, these peptides are attractive tools for plant biotechnological and agricultural applications, but require more efficient delivery rates and optimization by species before wide-scale use can be achieved. Here, we developed a library containing 55 CPPs to determine the optimal CPP characteristics for penetration of BY-2 cells and leaves of Nicotiana benthamiana, Arabidopsis thaliana, tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), poplar (hybrid aspen Populus tremula?×?tremuloides line T89), and rice (Oryza sativa). By investigating the cell penetration efficiency of CPPs in the library, we identified several efficient CPPs for all the plants studied except rice leaf. In the case of rice, several CPPs showed efficient penetration into rice callus. Furthermore, we examined the relationship between cell penetration efficiency and CPP secondary structural characteristics. The cell penetration efficiency of Lys-containing CPPs was relatively greater in plant than in animal cells, which could be due to differences in lipid composition and surface charge of the cell membranes. The variation in optimal CPPs across the plants studied here suggests that CPPs must be optimized for each plant species and target tissues of interest.
Project description:Cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) are short peptides that can translocate and transport cargoes into the intracellular milieu by crossing biological membranes. The mode of interaction and internalization of cell-penetrating peptides has long been controversial. While their interaction with anionic membranes is quite well understood, the insertion and behavior of CPPs in zwitterionic membranes, a major lipid component of eukaryotic cell membranes, is poorly studied. Herein, we investigated the membrane insertion of RW16 into zwitterionic membranes, a versatile CPP that also presents antibacterial and antitumor activities. Using complementary approaches, including NMR spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, circular dichroism, and molecular dynamic simulations, we determined the high-resolution structure of RW16 and measured its membrane insertion and orientation properties into zwitterionic membranes. Altogether, these results contribute to explaining the versatile properties of this peptide toward zwitterionic lipids.
Project description:Cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) as small molecular transporters with abilities of cell penetrating, internalization, and endosomal escape have potential prospect in drug delivery systems. However, a bottleneck hampering their application is the poor specificity for cells. By utilizing the function of hydration shell of polyethylene glycol (PEG) and acid sensitivity of hydrazone bond, we constructed a kind of CPP-modified pH-sensitive PEGylated liposomes (CPPL) to improve the selectivity of these peptides for tumor targeting. In CPPL, CPP was directly attached to liposome surfaces via coupling with stearate (STR) to avoid the hindrance of PEG as a linker on the penetrating efficiency of CPP. A PEG derivative by conjugating PEG with STR via acid-degradable hydrazone bond (PEG2000-Hz-STR, PHS) was synthesized. High-performance liquid chromatography and flow cytometry demonstrated that PHS was stable at normal neutral conditions and PEG could be completely cleaved from liposome surface to expose CPP under acidic environments in tumor. An optimal CPP density on liposomes was screened to guaranty a maximum targeting efficiency on tumor cells as well as not being captured by normal cells that consequently lead to a long circulation in blood. In vitro and in vivo studies indicated, in 4 mol% CPP of lipid modified system, that CPP exerted higher efficiency on internalizing the liposomes into targeted subcellular compartments while remaining inactive and free from opsonins at a maximum extent in systemic circulation. The 4% CPPL as a drug delivery system will have great potential in the clinical application of anticancer drugs in future.
Project description:The apoptotic protein Bax, in oligomeric form, is effective in promoting both leakage and lipid mixing in liposomes composed of cardiolipin and phosphatidylethanolamine and/or phosphatidylcholine, upon the addition of calcium. In contrast, monomeric Bax is not active. At low concentrations at which caspase-8-cut Bid (tBid) alone has little effect on leakage, tBid augments the leakage caused by monomeric Bax. When solutions of oligomeric Bax are diluted to lower detergent concentrations than those required for Bax oligomerization, the protein is initially active in inducing liposomal leakage, indicating that the potency of the oligomeric form is not a consequence of being initially added to the liposomes in a high detergent concentration. However, in solutions of low detergent concentration, in the absence of liposomes, the oligomer gradually loses its lytic potency. This is accompanied by a loss of binding of bis-ANS (4,4'-dianilino-1,1'-binaphthyl-5,5'-disulphonic acid), indicating the loss of exposed hydrophobic sites, as well as a loss of the ability of the protein to translocate to membranes. Membrane translocation was measured by an energy-transfer assay. It was demonstrated that membrane binding was greatly enhanced by oligomerization and by the presence of calcium. Thus the membrane-active form of Bax is unstable in the absence of detergent or lipid. In addition, we find that translocation to the membrane is enhanced by oligomerization as well as by the presence of high concentrations of calcium.