Since the transferrin receptor (CD71 or TFRC) is known to be highly expressed in numerous cancers, CD71 has become an attractive target in cancer research. Acquiring specific molecular probes for CD71, such as small molecular ligands, aptamers, peptides, or antibodies, is of great importance for cancer cell recognition and capture. In this work, we chose CD71 as the target for phage display, and after four rounds of positive selection and one round of negative selection, the specific phage library was enriched. After verification and sequence analysis, six peptides were identified to be able to bind to CD71 with high specificity. The specific recognition of the CD71-positive cells was confirmed by flow cytometry and confocal microscopy. Competition experiments demonstrated that peptide Y1 and transferrin (TF) were bound to distinct sites on CD71, indicating that peptide Y1 could replace TF as a potential probe for cell imaging and drug delivery, thus avoiding competition by endogenous TF and side effects.
Phage display Biopanning CD71 Cancer cell Imaging
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We thank the National Science Foundation of China (81602206, 21325522, 21422506, 21435004, 21521004), National Basic Research Program of China (2013CB933703), Program for Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Teams in University (IRT13036), National Found for Fostering Talents of Basic Science (NFFTBS, J1310024), and China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2016M592089) for their financial support.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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1.MOE Key Laboratory of Spectrochemical Analysis and Instrumentation, Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemistry for Energy Materials, Key Laboratory for Chemical Biology of Fujian Province, State Key Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces, College of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringXiamen UniversityXiamenChina