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Role of autophagy in cell-penetrating peptide transfection model
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Neurochemistry.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Neurochemistry.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Neurochemistry.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Neurochemistry.
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Number of Authors: 112017 (English)In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 7, article id 12635Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) uptake mechanism is still in need of more clarification to have a better understanding of their action in the mediation of oligonucleotide transfection. In this study, the effect on early events (1 h treatment) in transfection by PepFect14 (PF14), with or without oligonucleotide cargo on gene expression, in HeLa cells, have been investigated. The RNA expression profile was characterized by RNA sequencing and confirmed by qPCR analysis. The gene regulations were then related to the biological processes by the study of signaling pathways that showed the induction of autophagy-related genes in early transfection. A ligand library interfering with the detected intracellular pathways showed concentration-dependent effects on the transfection efficiency of splice correction oligonucleotide complexed with PepFect14, proving that the autophagy process is induced upon the uptake of complexes. Finally, the autophagy induction and colocalization with autophagosomes have been confirmed by confocal microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. We conclude that autophagy, an inherent cellular response process, is triggered by the cellular uptake of CPP-based transfection system. This finding opens novel possibilities to use autophagy modifiers in future gene therapy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 7, article id 12635
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Neurochemistry with Molecular Neurobiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-147911DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-12747-zISI: 000412138800071PubMedID: 28974718OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-147911DiVA, id: diva2:1149857
Available from: 2017-10-17 Created: 2017-10-17 Last updated: 2018-08-27Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Cell-Penetrating Peptides for Mitochondrial Targeting
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Cell-Penetrating Peptides for Mitochondrial Targeting
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Mitochondria have simply been known as the cell’s powerhouse for a long time, with its vital function of producing ATP. However, substantially more attention was directed towards these organelles once they were recognized to perform several essential functions having an impact in cell biology, pharmaceutics and medicine. Dysfunctions of these organelles have been linked to several diseases such as diabetes, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and cardiovascular disorders. Mitochondrial medicine emerged once the relationship of reactive oxygen species and mutations of the mitochondrial DNA linked to diseases was shown, referred to as mitochondrial dysfunction. This has led to the need to deliver therapeutic molecules in their active form not only to the target cells but more importantly into the targeted organelles.

In this thesis, cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) used as mitochondrial drug delivery system and the pathways involved in the uptake mechanisms of a CPP are described. In particular, Paper I describes a novel cell-penetrating peptide targeting mitochondria with intrinsic antioxidant properties. Paper II expands upon this first finding and show that the same peptide can carry a glutathione analogue peptide with improved radical scavenging ability into cytoplasm and mitochondria. Paper III introduces mitochondrial targeting peptides for delivery of therapeutic biomolecules to modify mitochondrial gene expression. In Paper IV, the uptake mechanisms of the CPP delivery strategy has been investigated to gain a better understanding of the used transfection system.

Overall, this thesis summarizes our current effort regarding cell-penetrating peptides delivery system to target mitochondria and the progress made towards a potential gene therapy. It contributes to the field of CPPs and drug delivery with a set of peptides with radical scavenging ability, a strategy to deliver oligonucleotides to mitochondria as proof-of-concept for mitochondrial gene therapy, and to help understanding the pathways involved in CPPs uptake.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Stockholm University, 2018. p. 62
Keywords
Mitochondrial targeting, cell-penetrating peptides, antioxidant activity, scavenging ability, oligonucleotide delivery
National Category
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Research subject
Neurochemistry with Molecular Neurobiology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-155156 (URN)978-91-7797-230-3 (ISBN)978-91-7797-231-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-06-01, Magnélisalen, Kemiska övningslaboratoriet, Svante Arrhenius väg 16 B, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Manuscript.

Available from: 2018-05-08 Created: 2018-04-13 Last updated: 2018-05-04Bibliographically approved
2. Chimeric gene delivery vectors: Design, synthesis, and mechanisms from transcriptomics analysis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Chimeric gene delivery vectors: Design, synthesis, and mechanisms from transcriptomics analysis
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Delivery of nucleic acid is a promising approach for genetic diseases/disorders. However, gene therapy using oligonucleotides (ONs) suffers from low transfection efficacy due to negative charges, weak cellular permeability, and enzymatic degradation. Thus, cell-penetrating peptide (CPP), is a short cationic peptide, is used to improve the cell transfection. In this thesis, new strategies for gene transfection using the CPP vectors in complex with ONs without and with nanoparticles, such as magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs, Fe3O4), and graphene oxide (GO), are investigated. Furthermore, the possible CPP uptake signalling pathways are also discussed.

A fragment quantitative structure-activity relationship (FQSAR) model is applied to predict new effective peptides for plasmid DNA transfection. The best-predicted peptides were able to transfect plasmids with significant enhancement compared to the other peptides. CPPs (PeptFect220 (denoted PF220), PF221, PF222, PF223, PF224) generated from the FQSAR, and standard PF14 were able to form self-assembled complexes with MNPs and GO. The formed new hybrid vectors improved the cell transfection for plasmid (pGL3), splicing correcting oligonucleotides (SCO), and small interfering RNA (siRNA). These vectors showed high cell biocompatibility and offered high transfection efficiency (> 4-fold for MNPs, 10–25-fold for GO) compared to PF14/SCO complex, which was before reported with a higher efficacy compared to the commercial lipid-based transfection vector Lipofectamine™2000. The high transfection efficiency of the novel complexes (CPP/ON/MNPs and CPP/ON/GO) may be due to their low cytotoxicity, and the synergistic effect of MNPs, GO, and CPPs. In vivo gene delivery using PF14/pDNA/MNPs was also reported. The assembly of CPPs/ON with MNPs or GO is promising and may open new venues for potent and selective gene therapy using external stimuli. The uptake signaling pathways using CPPs vectors, the RNA expression profile for PF14, with and without ON were investigated using RNA sequencing and qPCR analysis. Data showed that the signaling pathways are due to the regulation of autophagy-related genes. Our study revealed that the autophagy regulating proteins are concentration-dependent. Confocal microscopy and transmission electron microscopy have demonstrated the autophagy initiation and colocalization of ON with autophagosomes. Results showed that the cellular uptake of CPP-based transfection activates the autophagy signaling pathway. These findings may open new opportunities to use autophagy modifiers in gene therapy.

Abstract [sv]

Genterapi med hjälp av av oligonukleotider (ON) har en enorm potential för behandling av olika genetiska sjukdomar. För att ha terapeutisk effekt måste dock oligonukleotiderna nå in i cellen och detta försvåras på grund av deras negativa laddningar och snabba nedbrytning. Cellpenetrerande peptider (CPP), är korta katjoniska peptider, som kan användas för att förbättra det cellulära upptaget (transfektionen) av oligonukleotider. I denna avhandling undersöks nya strategier för hur CPP tillsammans med magnetiska nanopartiklar, såsom MNP och Fe3O4, eller grafenoxid (GO) nanopartiklar, kan möjliggöra effektivare transfektion av ON.  Vidare studeras även de möjliga cellulära signalvägar som reglerar CPP-medierat upptag.

En så kallad ”fragment quantitative structure-activity relationship” (FQSAR) modell  användes för att förutsäga nya effektiva CPP för leverans av plasmider (ringformade DNA-molekyler med omkring 5000 nukleotidbaspar). De bäst prediktade peptiderna visade en signifikant ökad transfektionsförmåga jämfört med den tidigare använda peptiden PeptFect 14 (PF14). De nya peptiderna PF220, PF221, PF222, PF223 och PF224 som identifierades med FQSAR kunde dessutom bilda självmonterande komplex med MNP eller GO nanopartiklar. I cellulära försök uppvisade dessa nya hybridvektorer (CPP/MNP och CPP/GO) en klart förbättrad transfektionsförmåga av såväl plasmider, som splitsningskorrigerande oligonukleotider (SCO) och små interfererande RNA (siRNA), jämfört med PF14-nanopartikel hybridvektorer, såväl som den kommersiella lipidbaserade transfektionsvektorn Lipofectamine™ 2000. Den höga transfektionseffektiviteten hos dessa nya hybridvektorer beror troligen på deras låga cellulära toxicitet och en möjlig synergistisk effekt vid kombinationen av CPP och MNP/GO nanopartiklar. Förmågan hos en CPP/MNP hybridvektor att levera plasmider in vivo undersöktes också och transfektion av celler i såväl lunga och mjälte i behandlade djur kunde påvisas. Dessa nya hybridvektorer utgör således en ny lovande strategi för leverans av ON vid genterapi.

För att kartlägga de signalvägar som kontrollerar upptaget av CPP-baserade vektorer analyserades  genuttrycket hos celler som transfekterats med PF14 eller PF14-ON, med hjälp av  RNA-sekvensering och qPCR-analys. Resultaten påvisade att en ökning i uttrycket av flera autofagirelaterade gener sker tidigt vid transfektionen. Konfokal- och transmissionselektronmikroskopi demonstrerade vidare en ökad initiering av autofagi och samlokalisering av ON med autofagosomer. Detta visar att CPP-medierad transfektion aktiverar signalvägar som stryr autofagi och öppnar nya möjligheter att använda autofagimodifierare för att förbättra genterapi.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Stockholm University, 2018
Keywords
Cell-penetrating peptides, magnetic nanoparticles, graphene oxide, autophagy, siRNA, SCO, QSAR
National Category
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Research subject
Neurochemistry with Molecular Neurobiology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-158574 (URN)978-91-7797-420-8 (ISBN)978-91-7797-421-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-10-11, Magnélisalen, Kemiska övningslaboratoriet, Svante Arrhenius väg 16B, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-09-18 Created: 2018-08-27 Last updated: 2018-09-18Bibliographically approved

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