Efficient Delivery of Macromolecules into Human Cells by Improving the Endosomal Escape Activity of Cell-Penetrating Peptides: Lessons Learned from dfTAT and its Analogs. Academic Article uri icon


  • Cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) are typically prone to endocytic uptake into human cells. However, they are often inefficient at escaping from endosomes, which limits their ability to deliver cargos into cells. This review highlights the efforts that our laboratory has devoted toward developing CPPs that can mediate the leakage of endosomal membranes, and consequently gain better access to the intracellular milieu. In particular, we have identified a CPP named dimeric fluorescent TAT (dfTAT) with high endosomolytic activity. We describe how we have used this reagent and its analogs to develop efficient cytosolic delivery protocols and learn about molecular and cellular parameters that control the cell permeation process. Specifically, we discuss how late endosomes represent exploitable gateways for intracellular entry. We also describe how certain features in CPPs, including guanidinium content, charge density, multimerization, chirality, and susceptibility to degradation modulate the activity that these peptidic agents take toward endosomal membranes and cytosolic egress.

published proceedings

  • Biomolecules

altmetric score

  • 1.85

author list (cited authors)

  • Allen, J. K., Brock, D. J., Kondow-McConaghy, H. M., & Pellois, J.

citation count

  • 24

complete list of authors

  • Allen, Jason K||Brock, Dakota J||Kondow-McConaghy, Helena M||Pellois, Jean-Philippe

publication date

  • July 2018