Intracellular Delivery Vector
Introduction Some drugs require cellular uptake to be effective and methods to increase cellular uptake are desired to improve on the efficacy and reduce the side-effects of certain drugs. One way to increase cellular uptake of a drug is by attaching it to a cellpenetrating peptide (CPP). CPPs, such as the TAT peptide from HIV, have been used extensively in the study of cellular uptake. Constructing fusions between CPPs and the target drug can be difficult and time consuming; additionally, it appears that most of the proteins that the cell uptakes via CPPs end up in lysosomes and not in the cytoplasm. Technology description Scientists at the University of Washington have invented a protein/polymer based delivery system that can transport a variety of macromolecules to the inside of a cell. This invention consists of a modular, recombinant, engineered protein that is capable of directing cellular uptake while simultaneously trafficking other proteins and macromolecular cargo across the plasma membrane of cells. This method utilizes techniques that greatly simplify the CPP-drug fusion process. Additionally, a synthetic, "smart" polymer can be incorporated to greatly enhance cytoplasmic delivery. Together, this combination of protein and polymer is capable of delivering a vast array of proteins and macromolecules to the cytoplasm. Business opportunity This technology is useful for a variety of purposes including drug screening, transcriptional regulation, elucidation of signaling pathways, and intracellular imaging. Stage of development This technology is currently under development. Intellectual property position US and PCT patent applications are pending.
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