Library screening for peptides that can penetrate a variety of plants

July 20, 2018

Necessary to optimize cell-penetrating peptides by species and tissues

A RIKEN CSRS–NAIST research team has succeeded in searching out cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) for various plant cells and extending knowledge about CPPs according to plant species and tissues.

CPP drug delivery systems have been widely studied in the medical field. Unlike animal cells, however, there is a paucity of CPPs that efficiently function in plant cells due to the characteristic structure of plant cell walls. There currently is no universal method for transporting substances into various plant cells with CPP. Given that plant cell properties differ according to species, tissue type and stage of growth, it is necessary to design such peptides according to various factors.

For this research, the team prepared a library of 55 types of CPPs for which the biophysical and biochemical characteristics are known and which effectively penetrate animal cells. Using tobacco, Arabidopsis thaliana, tomato, poplar, rice and other plants for testing, researchers evaluated the CPP penetration efficiency and uptake patterns. They found that the penetration efficiency and localization of CPP into cells differed by plant species, tissue and stage of growth, clarifying the importance of optimizing peptides according to purpose of the research and the plant materials used.

These research results make possible the design of peptides that can effectively transport nucleic acids, proteins and the like into the cells of a wide variety of plants, and is expected to lead to simple transformation of plants and the development of probes to detect diseases.

Original article
Scientific Reports doi:10.1038/s41598-018-29298-6
K. Numata, Y. Horii, K. Oikawa, Y. Miyagi, T. Demura, M. Ohtani,
"Library screening of cell-penetrating peptide for BY-2 cells, leaves of Arabidopsis, tobacco, tomato, poplar, and rice callus".
Yoko Horii; Technical Staff I
Kazusato Oikawa; Research Scientist
Yu Miyagi; Postdoctoral Researcher
Keiji Numata; Team Leader
Biomacromolecules Research Team