Protein transduction domains (PTDs), both naturally occurring and synthetic, have been increasingly employed to deliver biologically active agents to a variety of cell types in vitro and in vivo. In addition to the previously characterized arginine-rich PTDs, including Tat (transactivator of transcription), Antp (Antennapedia) and PTD-5, we have demonstrated that lysine and ornithine, as well as arginine, homopolymers are able to mediate transduction of a wide variety of agents. To screen for optimal PTDs, we have used as a therapeutic cargo a peptide derived from IKK {IκB [inhibitor of NF-κB (nuclear factor κB)] kinase} β, able to bind to the IKK regulatory subunit [NEMO (NF-κB essential modulator)], preventing formation of an active kinase complex. This peptide, termed NBD, is able to block activation of NF-κB, but not basal activity. We demonstrate that PTD-mediated delivery of NBD using certain PTDs, in particular 8K (octalysine), is therapeutic following systemic delivery in murine models of inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes and muscular dystrophy. In addition, we have developed a peptide phage display library screening method for novel transduction peptides able to facilitate tissue-specific internalization of marker protein complexes. Using this approach, we have identified transduction peptides that are able to facilitate internalization of large protein complexes into tumours, airway epithelia, synovial fibroblasts, cardiac tissue and HEK-293 (human embryonic kidney) cells in culture and/or in vivo.

You do not currently have access to this content.