Engineering Peptide-based Carriers for Drug and Gene Delivery

  • Jo-Ann Chuah
  • David L. Kaplan
  • Keiji Numata


Recent research efforts have focused on the optimization of cell delivery systems with the aims of increasing cell specificity, incorporating organelle targeting and improving overall delivery efficiency. Peptides and proteins represent new and innovative strategies to meet these targets. The advantages of peptides are manyfold: they can condense DNA into compact particles for transport, disrupt the endosomal membrane, escape proteasomal degradation, traffic therapeutic molecules of various size, charge, and function to targeted intracellular compartments, and can have reduced cytotoxicity and immunogenicity. These properties can be part of a single peptide or the result from the conjugation of different peptides. Silk, a structural protein, is well known for its biodegradability and biocompatibility and can be tailored for specific design features via genetic engineering. With tunable structure, chemistry, and mechanical properties for silk proteins derived from spiders and insects, modified or recombinant silk proteins can be utilized in various biomedical applications such as for the design of gene delivery systems. This review summarizes the diversity and application of peptides and silk proteins to mediate intracellular delivery of genes and drugs.


Silk Fibroin Infectious Bursal Disease Virus Gene Delivery System Silk Protein Spider Silk 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Enzyme Research Team, Biomass Engineering ProgramRIKENWako-shiJapan
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical EngineeringTufts UniversityMedfordUSA

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