Mitochondria Penetrating Peptides

The Background

Recent advances in the field of mitochondrial medicine have provided researchers with further incite into the unique structural and functional roles of the mitochondria. Converging lines of evidence have demonstrated the potential role of the mitochondria in a variety of diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases. Consequently, new directives in the field are aiming to develop novel targeting strategies and therapeutics. A newly emerging sub field of mitochondrial drug targeting has focused on the use of cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) as molecular transporters. CPPs are a class of synthetic molecules whose sequences are based primarily on either natural protein domains or highly cationic motifs that promote uptake via association with the plasma membrane or membrane potential driven electrophoresis through the membrane.

The Technology

The inventors have developed a new class of CPPs called mitochondria penetrating peptides (MPPs) that exhibit the unique characteristic of specifically localizing to the mitochondria. These MPPs, can be engineered to exhibit cellular uptake efficiencies that rival the uptake of Tat, a CPP widely used in cellular delivery, but have the further advantage of organelle-specific localization with the ability to transverse the inner mitochondrial membrane. Investigations are underway to further optimize the properties of MPPs and develop these molecules as delivery vehicles/vectors.

Type of Offer: Licensing

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