Crossing the blood-brain-barrier with nanoligand drug carriers self-assembled from a phage display peptide.
ABSTRACT: The filamentous bacteriophage fd bind a cell target with exquisite specificity through its few copies of display peptides, whereas nanoparticles functionalized with hundreds to thousands of synthetically generated phage display peptides exhibit variable and often-weak target binding. We hypothesise that some phage peptides in a hierarchical structure rather than in monomeric form recognise and bind their target. Here we show hierarchial forms of a brain-specific phage-derived peptide (herein as NanoLigand Carriers, NLCs) target cerebral endothelial cells through transferrin receptor and the receptor for advanced glycation-end products, cross the blood-brain-barrier and reach neurons and microglial cells. Through intravenous delivery of NLC-β-secretase 1 (BACE1) siRNA complexes we show effective BACE1 down-regulation in the brain without toxicity and inflammation. Therefore, NLCs act as safe multifunctional nanocarriers, overcome efficacy and specificity limitations in active targeting with nanoparticles bearing phage display peptides or cell-penetrating peptides and expand the receptor repertoire of the display peptide.
Project description:Delivery of therapeutic agents into the brain is a major challenge in central nervous system drug development. The blood-brain barrier (BBB) prevents access of biotherapeutics to their targets in the central nervous system and, therefore, prohibits the effective treatment of many neurological disorders. To find blood-brain barrier shuttle peptides that could target therapeutics to the brain, we applied a phage display technology on a primary endothelial rat cellular model. Two identified peptides from a 12 mer phage library, GLHTSATNLYLH and VAARTGEIYVPW, were selected and their permeability was validated using the in vitro BBB model. The permeability of peptides through the BBB was measured by ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry coupled to a triple-quadrupole mass spectrometer (UHPLC-MS/MS). We showed higher permeability for both peptides compared to N-C reversed-sequence peptides through in vitro BBB: for peptide GLHTSATNLYLH 3.3 × 10-7 cm/s and for peptide VAARTGEIYVPW 1.5 × 10-6 cm/s. The results indicate that the peptides identified by the in vitro phage display technology could serve as transporters for the administration of biopharmaceuticals into the brain. Our results also demonstrated the importance of proper BBB model for the discovery of shuttle peptides through phage display libraries.
Project description:Vascular endothelium offers a variety of therapeutic targets for the treatment of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, inflammation, and oxidative stress. Significant research has been focused on developing agents to target the endothelium in diseased tissues. This includes identification of antibodies against adhesion molecules and neovascular expression markers or peptides discovered using phage display. Such targeting molecules also have been used to deliver nanoparticles to the endothelium of the diseased tissue. Here we report, based on in vitro and in vivo studies, that the specificity of endothelial targeting can be enhanced further by engineering the shape of ligand-displaying nanoparticles. In vitro studies performed using microfluidic systems that mimic the vasculature (synthetic microvascular networks) showed that rod-shaped nanoparticles exhibit higher specific and lower nonspecific accumulation under flow at the target compared with their spherical counterparts. Mathematical modeling of particle-surface interactions suggests that the higher avidity and specificity of nanorods originate from the balance of polyvalent interactions that favor adhesion and entropic losses as well as shear-induced detachment that reduce binding. In vivo experiments in mice confirmed that shape-induced enhancement of vascular targeting is also observed under physiological conditions in lungs and brain for nanoparticles displaying anti-intracellular adhesion molecule 1 and anti-transferrin receptor antibodies.
Project description:Phage display is commonly used to isolate peptides that bind to a desired cell type. While chemical synthesis of selected peptides often results in ligands with low affinity, a multivalent tetrameric presentation of the peptides dramatically improves affinity. One of the primary uses of these peptides is conjugation to nanoparticle-based therapeutics for specific delivery to target cell types. We set out to optimize the path from phage display peptide selection to peptide presentation on a nanoparticle surface for targeted delivery. Here, we examine the effects of peptide valency, density, and affinity on nanoparticle delivery and therapeutic efficacy, using the ?(v)?(6)-specific H2009.1 peptide as a model phage-selected peptide and liposomal doxorubicin as a model therapeutic nanoparticle. Liposomes displaying the higher affinity multivalent H2009.1 tetrameric peptide demonstrate 5-10-fold higher drug delivery than liposomes displaying the lower affinity monomeric H2009.1 peptide, even when the same number of peptide subunits are displayed on the liposome. Importantly, a 6-fold greater toxicity is observed toward ?(v)?(6)-expressing cells for liposomes displaying tetrameric verses monomeric H2009.1 peptides. Additionally, liposomal targeting and toxicity increase with increasing concentrations of H2009.1 tetrameric peptide on the liposome surface. Thus, both the multivalent peptide and the multivalent liposome scaffold work together to increase targeting to ?(v)?(6)-expressing cells. This multilayered approach to developing high affinity targeted nanoparticles may improve the utility of moderate affinity peptides. As tetramerization is known to increase affinity for a variety of phage-selected peptides, it is anticipated that the tetrameric scaffold may act as a general method for taking peptides from phage display to nanoparticle display.
Project description:The relative impermeability of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) results from tight junctions and efflux transport systems limits drug delivery to the central nervous system (CNS), and thus severely restricts the therapy of many central nervous system diseases. In order to enhance the brain-specific drug delivery, we employed a 12-mer phage display peptide library to isolate peptides that could target the drug delivery system to the brain. A 12-amino-acid-peptide (denoted as Pep TGN) which was displayed by bacteriophage Clone 12-2 was finally selected by rounds of in vivo screening. Pep TGN was covalently conjugated onto the surface of poly (ethyleneglycol)-poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PEG-PLGA) based nanoparticles (NPs). The cellular uptake of Pep TGN decorated nanoparticles was significantly higher than that of unmodified nanoparticles when incubated with bEnd.3 cells. Enhanced brain accumulation efficiency together with lower accumulation in liver and spleen was observed in the nude mice intravenously injected with Pep TGN conjugated nanoparticles compared with those injected with plain nanoparticles, showing powerful brain selectivity of Pep TGN. Coumarin 6 was used as a fluorescent probe for the evaluation of brain delivery properties. The brain Drug Targeting Index (DTI) of coumarin 6 incorporated in targeted nanoparticles was significantly higher than that of coumarin 6 incorporated in plain nanoparticles. In conclusion, the Pep TGN is a motif never been reported before and Pep TGN modified nanoparticles showed great potential in targeted drug delivery across the blood brain barrier.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Targeting stem cells holds great potential for studying the embryonic stem cell and development of stem cell-based regenerative medicine. Previous studies demonstrated that nanoparticles can serve as a robust platform for gene delivery, non-invasive cell imaging, and manipulation of stem cell differentiation. However specific targeting of embryonic stem cells by peptide-linked nanoparticles has not been reported.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>Here, we developed a method for screening peptides that specifically recognize rhesus macaque embryonic stem cells by phage display and used the peptides to facilitate quantum dot targeting of embryonic stem cells. Through a phage display screen, we found phages that displayed an APWHLSSQYSRT peptide showed high affinity and specificity to undifferentiated primate embryonic stem cells in an enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent assay. These results were subsequently confirmed by immunofluorescence microscopy. Additionally, this binding could be completed by the chemically synthesized APWHLSSQYSRT peptide, indicating that the binding capability was specific and conferred by the peptide sequence. Through the ligation of the peptide to CdSe-ZnS core-shell nanocrystals, we were able to, for the first time, target embryonic stem cells through peptide-conjugated quantum dots.<h4>Conclusions/significance</h4>These data demonstrate that our established method of screening for embryonic stem cell specific binding peptides by phage display is feasible. Moreover, the peptide-conjugated quantum dots may be applicable for embryonic stem cell study and utilization.
Project description:Ligands selected from phage-displayed random peptide libraries tend to be directed to biologically relevant sites on the surface of the target protein. Consequently, peptides derived from library screenings often modulate the target protein's activity in vitro and in vivo and can be used as lead compounds in drug design and as alternatives to antibodies for target validation in both genomics and drug discovery. This review discusses the use of phage display to identify membrane receptor modulators with agonistic or antagonistic activities. Because isolating or producing recombinant membrane proteins for use as target molecules in library screening is often impossible, innovative selection strategies such as panning against whole cells or tissues, recombinant receptor ectodomains, or neutralizing antibodies to endogenous binding partners were devised. Prominent examples from a two-decade history of peptide phage display will be presented, focusing on the design of affinity selection experiments, methods for improving the initial hits, and applications of the identified peptides.
Project description:Therapeutic approaches to fight Alzheimer's disease include anti-Amyloid? (A?) antibodies and secretase inhibitors. However, the blood-brain barrier (BBB) limits the brain exposure of biologics and the chemical space for small molecules to be BBB permeable. The Brain Shuttle (BS) technology is capable of shuttling large molecules into the brain. This allows for new types of therapeutic modalities engineered for optimal efficacy on the molecular target in the brain independent of brain penetrating properties. To this end, we designed BACE1 peptide inhibitors with varying lipid modifications with single-digit picomolar cellular potency. Secondly, we generated active-exosite peptides with structurally confirmed dual binding mode and improved potency. When fused to the BS via sortase coupling, these BACE1 inhibitors significantly reduced brain A? levels in mice after intravenous administration. In plasma, both BS and non-BS BACE1 inhibitor peptides induced a significant time- and dose-dependent decrease of A?. Our results demonstrate that the BS is essential for BACE1 peptide inhibitors to be efficacious in the brain and active-exosite design of BACE1 peptide inhibitors together with lipid modification may be of therapeutic relevance.
Project description:Eph receptor tyrosine kinases and ephrin ligands constitute an important cell communication system that controls development, tissue homeostasis and many pathological processes. Various Eph receptors/ephrins are present in essentially all cell types and their expression is often dysregulated by injury and disease. Thus, the 14 Eph receptors are attracting increasing attention as a major class of potential drug targets. In particular, agents that bind to the extracellular ephrin-binding pocket of these receptors show promise for medical applications. This pocket comprises a broad and shallow groove surrounded by several flexible loops, which makes peptides particularly suitable to target it with high affinity and selectivity. Accordingly, a number of peptides that bind to Eph receptors with micromolar affinity have been identified using phage display and other approaches. These peptides are generally antagonists that inhibit ephrin binding and Eph receptor/ ephrin signaling, but some are agonists mimicking ephrin-induced Eph receptor activation. Importantly, some of the peptides are exquisitely selective for single Eph receptors. Most identified peptides are linear, but recently the considerable advantages of cyclic scaffolds have been recognized, particularly in light of potential optimization towards drug leads. To date, peptide improvements have yielded derivatives with low nanomolar Eph receptor binding affinity, high resistance to plasma proteases and/or long in vivo half-life, exemplifying the merits of peptides for Eph receptor targeting. Besides their modulation of Eph receptor/ephrin function, peptides can also serve to deliver conjugated imaging and therapeutic agents or various types of nanoparticles to tumors and other diseased tissues presenting target Eph receptors.
Project description:The blood-brain barrier and the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier prevent access of biotherapeutics to their targets in the central nervous system and therefore prohibit the effective treatment of neurological disorders. In an attempt to discover novel brain transport vectors in vivo, we injected a T7 phage peptide library and continuously collected blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) using a cisterna magna cannulated conscious rat model. Specific phage clones were highly enriched in the CSF after four rounds of selection. Validation of individual peptide candidates showed CSF enrichments of greater than 1000-fold. The biological activity of peptide-mediated delivery to the brain was confirmed using a BACE1 peptide inhibitor linked to an identified novel transport peptide which led to a 40% reduction of Amyloid-β in CSF. These results indicate that the peptides identified by the in vivo phage selection approach could be useful transporters for systemically administrated large molecules into the brain with therapeutic benefits.
Project description:Combinatorial phage library is a powerful research tool for high-throughput screening of protein interactions. Of all available molecular display techniques, phage display has proven to be the most popular approach. Screening phage-displayed random peptide libraries is an effective means of identifying peptides that can bind target molecules and regulate their function. Phage-displayed peptide libraries can be used for (i) B-cell and T-cell epitope mapping, (ii) selection of bioactive peptides bound to receptors or proteins, disease-specific antigen mimics, peptides bound to non-protein targets, cell-specific peptides, or organ-specific peptides, and (iii) development of peptide-mediated drug delivery systems and other applications. Targeting peptides identified using phage display technology may be useful for basic research and translational medicine. In this review article, we summarize the latest technological advancements in the application of phage-displayed peptide libraries to applied biomedical sciences.