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Binding and retention of polycationic peptides and dendrimers in the vascular wall

Author: Sakharov, D.V. · Jie, A.F.H. · Filippov, D.V. · Bekkers, M.E.A. · Boom, J.H. van · Rijken, D.C.
Institution: Gaubius Instituut TNO
Source:FEBS Letters, 1-3, 537, 6-10
Identifier: 236971
doi: doi:10.1016/S0014-5793(03)00063-2
Keywords: Amino Acid Sequence · Animals · Biological Transport · Carotid Arteries · Fluorescent Dyes · Kinetics · Muscle, Smooth, Vascular · Oligopeptides · Polylysine · Rats


Extracellular matrix (ECM) of tissues, vascular tissue in particular, contains a high concentration of negatively charged glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which are involved in the regulation of cell motility, cell proliferation and the regulation of enzyme activities. Previously, we have shown that the vascular ECM is capable of binding an extremely high concentration of positively charged molecules, such as polylysine. Vascular ECM can be used therefore as a substrate for binding and retention of drugs delivered intravascularly, if these drugs are endowed with an ability to bind to the vascular ECM. In this study, we evaluated a number of positively charged molecules as potential affinity vehicles for delivery of drugs to the vascular ECM. We labelled the molecules of interest with fluorescence and compared them ex vivo in terms of binding and retention in the de-endothelialised rat carotid artery after intravascular delivery under pressure. High molecular weight polylysine (84 kDa) and polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimers accumulated in the wall of the artery up to a concentration of 10 mg/ml and were not washed away significantly after 4 h of perfusion of the artery. A 24-mer peptide containing a consensus sequence for binding to GAGs (ARRRAARA)3, 2.7 kDa, was comparable to high molecular weight polylysine and dendrimers in terms of binding and retention. A 14-mer GAG-binding peptide from vitronectin and low molecular weight polylysine, 3 kDa, accumulated in the vascular wall up to about 3 mg/ml and was washed away after 30 min of perfusion. A 10-mer consensus GAG-binding peptide did not bind significantly to the vascular tissue. We conclude that the consensus 24-mer GAG-binding peptide is by far superior to polylysine of a similar molecular weight in terms of binding to vascular tissue, and can provide high accumulation and long-term retention of a low molecular weight compound (fluorescein, as a model molecule) in the vascular wall. Rationally designed GAG-binding peptides can be useful as affinity vehicles for targeting drugs to the vascular ECM. © 2003 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved. Chemicals/CAS: fluorescein, 2321-07-5, 91316-42-6; polylysine, 25104-18-1, 25988-63-0, 33960-24-6, 38000-06-5, 73565-56-7; Fluorescent Dyes; Oligopeptides; Polylysine, 25104-18-1