Shuttling gold nanoparticles into tumoral cells with an amphipathic proline-rich peptide

Sílvia Pujals, Neus G. Bastús, Eva Pereiro, Carmen López-Iglesias, Victor F. Puntes, Marcelo J. Kogan, Ernest Giralt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) are a potential tool for intracellular delivery of different kinds of cargoes. Because of their growing use in nanobiomedicine, both for diagnostics and for treatment, metal nanoparticles are an interesting cargo for CPPs. Here, gold nanoparticles (AuNps) and the amphipathic proline-rich peptide SAP have been used. Conjugation of the peptide onto the AuNps was achieved by addition of a cysteine to the SAP sequence for thiol chemisorption on gold, and the attachment was confirmed by visible spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering (DLS), ζ-potential (ZP), stability towards ionic strength (as high as 1m NaCl), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM) coupled to electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS). AuNp-C-SAP internalization in HeLa cells was observed by three different microscopy techniques - TEM, confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and transmission X-ray microscopy (TXM) - and all of them have confirmed the effective intracellular delivery of AuNps by SAP. © 2009 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1025-1031
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2009


  • Cell-penetrating peptides
  • Drug delivery
  • Gold nanoparticles
  • Nanostructures
  • Proline


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