Efficient protein transduction method using cationic peptides and lipids.
ABSTRACT: Cationic peptides termed protein transduction domains (PTDs) have been shown to cross biological membranes efficiently. However, proteins transduced by PTDs become entrapped within the endosomal vesicles and are not delivered into organelles. We have developed a novel protein delivery system to enhance the proton sponge effect, which results in rupture of the endosomes, by using a mixture of Wr-T transporter peptide and a commercially available cationic lipid reagent. This peptide and cationic lipid reagent mixture efficiently delivers a variety of cargo proteins into living cells by releasing them from the endosomes.
Project description:Phosphopeptides are valuable reagent probes for studying protein-protein and protein-ligand interactions. The cellular delivery of phosphopeptides is challenging because of the presence of the negatively charged phosphate group. The cellular uptake of a number of fluorescent-labeled phosphopeptides, including F'-GpYLPQTV, F'-NEpYTARQ, F'-AEEEIYGEFEAKKKK, F'-PEpYLGLD, F'-pYVNVQN-NH2, and F'-GpYEEI (F' = fluorescein), was evaluated in the presence or absence of a [WR]4, a cyclic peptide containing alternative arginine (R) and tryptophan (W) residues, in human leukemia cells (CCRF-CEM) after 2 h incubation using flow cytometry. [WR]4 improved significantly the cellular uptake of all phosphopeptides. PEpYLGLD is a sequence that mimics the pTyr1246 of ErbB2 that is responsible for binding to the Chk SH2 domain. The cellular uptake of F'-PEpYLGLD was enhanced dramatically by 27-fold in the presence of [WR]4 and was found to be time-dependent. Confocal microscopy of a mixture of F'-PEpYLGLD and [WR]4 in live cells exhibited intracellular localization and significantly higher cellular uptake compared to that of F'-PEpYLGLD alone. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and isothermal calorimetry (ITC) were used to study the interaction of PEpYLGLD and [WR]4. TEM results showed that the mixture of PEpYLGLD and [WR]4 formed noncircular nanosized structures with width and height of 125 and 60 nm, respectively. ITC binding studies confirmed the interaction between [WR]4 and PEpYLGLD. The binding isotherm curves, derived from sequential binding models, showed an exothermic interaction driven by entropy. These studies suggest that amphiphilic peptide [WR]4 can be used as a cellular delivery tool of cell-impermeable negatively charged phosphopeptides.
Project description:Protein transduction domains (PTDs) can be fused to a protein to render it cell-permeable. The delivery efficiencies of PTDs are, however, often poor because PTD-protein conjugates cannot escape from endosomes. A potential solution to this problem consists in adding HA2 analogs to the PTD-protein construct as these peptides can cause endosomal lysis upon acidification of the endosomal lumen. To date, however, the utility of HA2-based PTDs has not been clearly established.We investigate the biophysical and cellular properties of the glutamate-rich HA2 analog E5 fused to the model protein TAT-mCherry.E5-TAT-mCherry causes the release of fluorescent dextrans trapped with the protein inside endosomes. Yet, E5-TAT-mCherry itself is not released in the cytosol of cells, indicating that the protein remained trapped inside endosomes even after endosomal lysis takes place. Cytosolic delivery of the protein could be achieved, however, by insertion of a disulfide bond between E5 and its cargo.These results show that E5 causes the retention of its fused protein inside endosomes even after lysis takes place.These data establish that HA2 analogs might not be useful PTDs unless cleavable linkers are engineered between PTD and protein cargo.
Project description:Previously, we have reported the synthesis of a homochiral l-cyclic peptide [WR]5 and its use for delivery of anti-HIV drugs and biomolecules. A physical mixture of HAuCl4 and the peptide generated peptide-capped gold nanoparticles. Here, [WR]5 and [WR]5-AuNPs were tested for their efficiency to deliver a small interfering RNA molecule (siRNA) in human cervix adenocarcinoma (HeLa) cells. Flow cytometry investigation revealed that the intracellular uptake of a fluorescence-labeled non-targeting siRNA (200 nM) was enhanced in the presence of [WR]5 and [WR]5-AuNPs by 2- and 3.8-fold when compared with that of siRNA alone after 24 h incubation. Comparative toxicity results showed that [WR]5 and [WR]5-AuNPs were less toxic in cells compared to other available carrier systems, such as Lipofectamine.
Project description:Cationic liposomes are frequently used as carrier particles for nucleic acid delivery. The most popular formulation is the equimolar mixture of two components, a cationic lipid and a neutral phosphoethanolamine. Its uptake pathway has been described as endocytosis. The presence of an aromatic molecule as a third component strongly influences the cellular uptake process and results in complete membrane fusion instead of endocytosis. Here, we systematically varied all three components of this lipid mixture and determined how efficiently the resulting particles fused with the plasma membrane of living mammalian cells. Our results show that an aromatic molecule and a cationic lipid component with conical molecular shape are essential for efficient fusion induction. While a neutral lipid is not mandatory, it can be used to control fusion efficiency and, in the most extreme case, to revert the uptake mechanism back to endocytosis.
Project description:Efficient DNA delivery into cells is the prerequisite of the genetic manipulation of organisms in molecular and cellular biology as well as, ultimately, in nonviral gene therapy. Current reagents, however, are relatively inefficient, and structure-activity relationships to guide their improvement are hard to come by. We now explore peptide dendrimers as a new type of transfection reagent and provide a quantitative framework for their evaluation. A collection of dendrimers with cationic and hydrophobic amino acid motifs (such as KK, KA, KH, KL, and LL) distributed across three dendrimer generations was synthesized by a solid-phase protocol that provides ready access to dendrimers in milligram quantities. In conjunction with a lipid component (DOTMA/DOPE), the best reagent, G1,2,3-KL ((LysLeu)8(LysLysLeu)4(LysLysLeu)2LysGlySerCys-NH2), improves transfection by 6-10-fold over commercial reagents under their respective optimal conditions. Emerging structure-activity relationships show that dendrimers with cationic and hydrophobic residues distributed in each generation are transfecting most efficiently. The trigenerational dendritic structure has an advantage over a linear analogue worth up to an order of magnitude. The success of placing the decisive cationic charge patterns in inner shells rather than previously on the surface of macromolecules suggests that this class of dendrimers significantly differs from existing transfection reagents. In the future, this platform may be tuned further and coupled to cell-targeting moieties to enhance transfection and cell specificity.
Project description: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:Granzyme B (GrB) is an apoptosis-inducing protease of cytotoxic lymphocytes. We have investigated intracellular and extracellular effects of human GrB using recombinant protein expressed in the yeast Pichia pastoris. GrB was rapidly taken up by HeLa cells, and accumulated in vesicular structures in the cytoplasm. There it remained inactive and could not be liberated by the endosomolytic reagent chloroquine, indicating that the vesicular structures are distinct from late endosomes and lysosomes. Direct cytosolic delivery of GrB with a cationic lipid-based transduction reagent, however, resulted in the induction of apoptotic cell death. After prolonged incubation at or above 125 nM, GrB on its own induced pronounced morphological changes in human tumour cells, leading to partial loss of contact to the culture support. This extracellular effect was dependent on enzymatic activity and could be reversed by removal of the protein, suggesting GrB-dependent cleavage of extracellular matrix components as the underlying mechanism.
Project description:Endosomal entrapment is a severely limiting bottleneck in the delivery of biologics into cells. The compound dfTAT was recently found to circumvent this problem by mediating endosomal leakage efficiently and without toxicity. Herein, we report on the mechanism of endosomal escape of this cell-penetrating peptide. By modulating the trafficking of the peptide within the endocytic pathway, we identify late endosomes as the organelles rendered leaky by dfTAT. We establish that dfTAT binds bis(monoacylglycero)phosphate (BMP), a lipid found in late endosomes, and that the peptide causes the fusion and leakage of bilayers containing BMP. Together, these data identify late endosomes as desirable gateways for cell penetration and BMP as a cellular factor that can be exploited for the development of future delivery agents.
Project description:For a successful anti-cancer vaccine, antigen presentation on the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I is a requirement. To accomplish this, an antigen must be delivered to the cytoplasm by overcoming the endosome/lysosome. We previously reported that a lipid nanoparticle modified with a KALA peptide (WEAKLAKALAKALAKHLAKALAKALKA), an ?-helical cationic peptide, permits the encapsulated pDNA to be efficiently delivered to the cytoplasm in bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs). Herein, we report on the use of KALA-modified liposomes as an antigen carrier, in an attempt to induce potent antigen-specific cellular immunity. The subcutaneous injection of KALA-modified ovalbumin (OVA)-encapsulating liposomes (KALA-OVA-LPs) elicited a much more potent OVA-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte activity and anti-tumor effect in comparison with particles that were modified with octa-arginine (R8), a cell-penetrating peptide (R8-OVA-LPs). In addition, the numbers of OVA-specific CD8<sup>+</sup> T cells were increased by immunization the KALA-OVA-LPs. The treatment of BMDCs with KALA-OVA-LPs induced a substantial MHC class I antigen presentation. Furthermore, the acidic pH-dependent membrane destabilization activity of KALA-OVA-LPs strongly suggests that they are able to escape from endosomes/lysosomes and thereby deliver their cargos to the cytoplasm. Collectively, the KALA-modified liposome is a potential antigen delivery platform for use as a protein vaccine.
Project description:Lipopolyplexes are of widespread interest for gene therapy due to their multifunctionality and high transfection efficiencies. Here we compared the biological and biophysical properties of a lipopolyplex formulation with its lipoplex and polyplex equivalents to assess the role of the lipid and peptide components in the formation and function of the lipopolyplex formulation. We show that peptide efficiently packaged plasmid DNA forming spherical, highly cationic nanocomplexes that are taken up efficiently by cells. However, transgene expression was poor, most likely due to endosomal degradation since the polyplex lacks membrane trafficking properties. In addition the strong peptide-DNA interaction may prevent plasmid release from the complex and so limit plasmid DNA availability. Lipid/DNA lipoplexes, on the other hand, produced aggregated masses that showed poorer cellular uptake than the polyplex but contrastingly greater levels of transgene expression. This may be due to the greater ability of lipoplexes relative to polyplexes to promote endosomal escape. Lipopolyplex formulations formed spherical, cationic nanocomplexes with efficient cellular uptake and significantly enhanced transfection efficiency. The lipopolyplexes combined the optimal features of lipoplexes and polyplexes showing optimal cell uptake, endosomal escape and availability of plasmid for transcription, thus explaining the synergistic increase in transfection efficiency.