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Strategies for Peptide-Mediated Cargo Delivery to Human Smooth Muscle Cells

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Steve RobsonORCiD, Dr Michele Sweeney, Professor Michael TaggartORCiD


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© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.Diseases involving dysfunction of smooth muscle cells present a major health and socioeconomic burden, and have remained stubbornly resistant to standard therapeutic strategies. Examples include many cardiovascular diseases and spontaneous preterm birth, a complication affecting up to 11% of all pregnancies worldwide. This fuels the continued search for new drug delivery strategies to treat these conditions. The use of cell penetrating peptides (CPPs) for this purpose remains a promising, if as yet unrealized, avenue to explore. In part, this may relate to a paucity of studies investigating the application of CPPs as drug delivery vectors to human smooth muscle cells and tissues. We have sought to address this knowledge gap by reporting methods for examining the uptake of different CPP-cargo vectors to human uterine and vascular smooth muscle cells. In particular, we report here (a) that four different CPP-fluorophore conjugates, spanning masses of 1309–3435 Da, and net charges of +2 to +7, can be delivered to human isolated uterine smooth muscle cells without inducing cell toxicity; (b) that the cargo delivered by such CPPs can be fluorescent moieties and/or biologically active peptides; (c) that CPP delivery in a short time frame to native smooth muscle cells in human tissues ex vivo can be achieved. Further exploration of CPPs as tools to facilitate targeted drug delivery to native human smooth muscle tissues will assist in improving our understanding of scientific mechanisms underlying major diseases involving smooth muscle dysfunction as well as facilitating therapeutic investigations.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gurney L, Robson SC, Sweeney M, Jones AT, Taggart MJ

Editor(s): Langel U

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Cell Penetrating Peptides : Methods and Protocols

Year: 2022

Volume: 2383

Pages: 459-471

Print publication date: 16/12/2021

Online publication date: 12/11/2021

Acceptance date: 01/04/2020

Series Title: Methods in Molecular Biology

Publisher: Humana Press Inc.

Place Published: Boston


DOI: 10.1007/978-1-0716-1752-6_29

Notes: eBook ISBN 9781071617526

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9781071617519