UHN UT University of Toronto University Health Network


Peptide-Based Delivery Vectors


Lab Members: Arshiya Mohammed


The use of cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs), such as polyarginine, has been shown to facilitate the import of drugs and other cargos into cells. However, a major obstacle limiting their use as delivery agents is their entrapment following internalization into endocytic vesicles, leading to either their recycling out of cells or their degradation in lysosomes. To address this challenge, we fused a CPP sequence to the translocation domain of P. aeruginosa Exotoxin A (ETA) to facilitate the endosomal escape of imported CPP-containing protein constructs. Specifically, a fusion protein incorporating ten arginines linked to residues 253 to 412 of ETA (ETA253-412) was tested for its ability to effectively route a protein cargo (enhanced green fluorescent protein, eGFP) to the cytosol of cells. Using flow cytometry and fluorescence live-cell imaging, we observed a 5-fold improvement of cellular uptake as well as a 40-fold increase in cytosolic delivery of the CPP-ETA253-412-e GFP construct in relation to CPP-eGFP. Furthermore, analysis of intracellular routing events indicated that the incorporation of ETA253-412 within the CPP-containing protein fusion construct avoided lysosomal degradation by re-directing the construct from early endosomes to the ER lumen and finally to the cytosol.  Studies using inhibitors of vesicular transport confirmed that the ER lumen is a key compartment reached by the CPP- ETA253-412 -eGFP construct before accessing the cytosol. Together, these findings suggest that incorporating a CPP motif and the ETA translocation domain into protein constructs can facilitate their cytosolic delivery.


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Selected References

1) Mohammed AF, Abdul-Wahid A, Huang EH, Bolweska-Pedyczak E, Cydzik M, Broad AE, Gariépy J. (2012) The Pseudomonas aeruginosa exotoxin A translocation domain facilitates the routing of CPP-protein cargos to the cytosol of eukaryotic cells. J Control Release 164(1):58-64.ORAVA1


Last updated: March 23, 2018

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