Membrane-active peptides have been extensively studied to probe protein–membrane interactions, to act as antimicrobial agents and cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) for the delivery of therapeutic agents to cells. Hundreds of membrane-active sequences acting as CPPs have now been described including bioportides that serve as single entity modifiers of cell physiology at the intracellular level. Translation of promising CPPs in pre-clinical studies have, however, been disappointing as only few identified delivery systems have progressed to clinical trials. To search for novel membrane-active peptides a sequence from the EGFR juxtamembrane region was identified (named EJP18), synthesised, and examined in its L- and D-form for its ability to mediate the delivery of a small fluorophore and whole proteins to cancer cell lines. Initial studies identified the peptide as being highly membrane-active causing extensive and rapid plasma membrane reorganisation, blebbing, and toxicity. At lower, non-toxic concentrations the peptides outperformed the well-characterised CPP octaarginine in cellular delivery capacity for a fluorophore or proteins that were associated with the peptide covalently or via ionic interactions. EJP18 thus represents a novel membrane-active peptide that may be used as a naturally derived model for biophysical protein–membrane interactions or for delivery of cargo into cells for therapeutic or diagnostic applications.

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