Dendritic cell acquisition of epitope cargo mediated by simple cationic peptide structures

Brendon Y. Chua, Emily M. Eriksson, Daniel P. Poole, Weiguang Zeng, David C. Jackson

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9 Citations (Scopus)


In this study we evaluate the uptake by murine dendritic cells (DCs) of different synthetic, branched cationic peptide structures with a view to facilitating peptide epitope delivery. The level of cell uptake by fluorescenated peptides was measured by flow cytometry following quenching of extracellular fluorescence with trypan blue. Branched peptides containing either N-terminal arginine or N-terminal lysine residues were able to mediate cell entry but the peptide containing four arginine residues in a branching configuration (R4) was found to be superior not only to other branched peptides in translocating to the cell interior and also to a peptide containing four arginine residues arranged linearly. Fluorescenated R4 was found to be localized within intracellular vesicle-like compartments as well as being distributed throughout the cell cytoplasm. Uptake of R4 utilized an energy-dependent process that appeared to involve phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase and could induce intermediate levels of DC maturation. R4 when conjugated to a T-helper cell and CTL epitope construct was able to induce antigen-specific CD8+ T-cell mediated immune responses in mice when administered in adjuvant as were DCs that were pulsed with this construct and then matured with LPS. Fluorescenated R4 was also found to translocate into the interior of other cell types indicating that it may be useful for the delivery of peptide cargo into other specialized cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)881-890
Number of pages10
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2008


  • Cell entry
  • Dendritic cells
  • Peptide epitope
  • Synthetic vaccines

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