, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp E18-E29

Peptide-guided gene delivery

Abstract

Although currently less efficient than their viral counter-parts, nonviral vectors are under intense investigation as a safer alternative for gene therapy. For successful delivery, the nonviral vector must be able to overcome many barriers to protect DNA and specifically deliver it for efficient gene expression in target cells. The use of peptides as gene delivery vectors is advantageous over other nonviral agents in that they are able to achieve all of these goals. This review will focus on the application of peptides to mediate nonviral gene delivery. By examining the literature over the past 20 years, it becomes clear that no other class of biomolecules are simultaneously capable of DNA condensation, blocking metabolism, endosomal escape, nuclear localization, and receptor targeting. Based on virtually limitless diversity of peptide sequence and function information from nature, it is increasingly clear that peptide-guided gene delivery is still in its infancy.

Published: February 9, 2007