The bovine lactoferricin L6 (RRWQWR) has been previously identified as a novel cell-penetrating peptide (CPP) that is able to efficiently internalize into human cells. L6 interacts with quantum dots (QDs) noncovalently to generate stable L6/QD complexes that enter cells by endocytosis. In this study, we demonstrate a modified L6 (HL6; CHHHHHRRWQWRHHHHHC), in which short polyhistidine peptides are introduced into both flanks of L6, has enhanced cell-penetrating ability in human bronchoalveolar carcinoma A549 cells. The mechanism of cellular uptake of HL6/QD complexes is primarily direct membrane translocation rather than endocytosis. Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), but not pyrenebutyrate (PB), ethanol, oleic acid, or 1,2-benzisothiazol-3(2 H)-one (BIT), slightly enhances HL6-mediated protein transduction efficiency. Neither HL6 nor HL6/QD complexes are cytotoxic to A549 or HeLa cells. These results indicate that HL6 could be a more efficient drug carrier than L6 for biomedical as well as biotechnological applications, and that the function of polyhistidine peptides is critical to CPP-mediated protein transduction.
H. Lee et al., "Polyhistidine Facilitates Direct Membrane Translocation of Cell-Penetrating Peptides into Cells," Scientific Reports, vol. 9, no. 1, Nature Publishing Group, Dec 2019.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-45830-8
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01 Dec 2019