Despite extensive use of arginine-rich cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs)—including octaarginine (R8)—as intracellular delivery vectors, mechanisms for their internalization are still under debate. Lipid packing in live cell membranes was characterized using a polarity-sensitive dye (di-4-ANEPPDHQ), and evaluated in terms of generalized polarization. Treatment with membrane curvature-inducing peptides led to significant loosening of the lipid packing, resulting in an enhanced R8 penetration. Pyrenebutyrate (PyB) is known to facilitate R8 membrane translocation by working as a hydrophobic counteranion. Interestingly, PyB also actively induced membrane curvature and perturbed lipid packing. R8 is known to directly cross cell membranes at elevated concentrations. The sites of R8 influx were found to have looser lipid packing than surrounding areas. Lipid packing loosening is proposed as a key factor that governs the membrane translocation of CPPs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- 化学 (全般)