Background: Cell-targeting peptides or proteins are appealing tools in nanomedicine and innovative medicines because they increase the local drug concentration and reduce potential side effects. CXC chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) is a cell surface marker associated with several severe human pathologies, including colorectal cancer, for which intracellular targeting agents are currently missing. Results: Four different peptides that bind CXCR4 were tested for their ability to internalize a green fluorescent protein-based reporter nanoparticle into CXCR4+ cells. Among them, only the 18 mer peptide T22, an engineered segment derivative of polyphemusin II from the horseshoe crab, efficiently penetrated target cells via a rapid, receptor-specific endosomal route. This resulted in accumulation of the reporter nanoparticle in a fully fluorescent and stable form in the perinuclear region of the target cells, without toxicity either in cell culture or in an in vivo model of metastatic colorectal cancer. Conclusion: Given the urgent demand for targeting agents in the research, diagnosis, and treatment of CXCR4-linked diseases, including colorectal cancer and human immunodeficiency virus infection, T22 appears to be a promising tag for the intracellular delivery of protein drugs, nanoparticles, and imaging agents. © 2012 Unzueta et al, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd.
|Journal||International Journal of Nanomedicine|
|Publication status||Published - 5 Dec 2012|
- Colorectal cancer
- Intracellular targeting
- Peptide tag