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Design of Cytotoxic Ribonucleases by Cationization to Enhance Intracellular Protein Delivery

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The cytotoxic properties of naturally occurring or engineered RNases correlate well with their efficiency of cellular internalization and digestion level of cellular RNA. Cationized RNases are considered to adsorb to the anionic cellular surface by Coulombic interactions, and then become efficiently internalized into cells by an endocytosis-like pathway. The design of cytotoxic RNases by chemical modification of surface carboxylic residues is one of the powerful strategies for enhancing cellular internalization and is accompanied with a decreased sensitivity for the cytoplasmic RNase inhibitor. Although chemically modified cationized RNases showed decreased ribonucleolytic activity, improved endocytosis and decreased affinity to the endogenous RNase inhibitor conclusively contribute to their ability to digest cellular RNA. Furthermore, the cytotoxicity of cationized RNases can be drastically enhanced by co-endocytosis with an endosomedestabilizing peptide. Since efficient cellular internalization of proteins into living cells is an important technology for biotechnology, studies concerning the design of cytotoxic RNases provided general perceptions for protein-based drug design.

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Keywords: Chemical conjugation; cytotoxic Rnase; endocytosis; polyethylenimine; protein transduction

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-06-01

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  • Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. Each issue of the journal contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics in both pre-clinical and clinical areas of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology is an essential journal for academic, clinical, government and pharmaceutical scientists who wish to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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