A team of Kennesaw State University faculty and students have developed a novel cell-penetrating peptide technology that could result in new medical treatments ranging from improved cosmetic procedures to helping in the fight against cancer, according to team leader Jonathan McMurry, KSU’s associate vice president for research.
McMurry said the researchers’ work, some of which has been published in the March issue of the Journal of Cell Science, has “thousands” of potential applications. KSU professors John Salerno, Scott Nowak and Carol Chrestensen are co-authors of the paper.
At the heart of the research is a novel cell-penetrating peptide (CPP) technology capable of carrying other molecular “cargos” directly into living cells, coupling with them and then successfully uncoupling after delivering its payload. Cargos can be therapeutic molecules like antibodies that fight against parasites and diseases, or anti-cancer proteins.
McMurry and his team developed a recombinant CPP by using a viral protein fragment fused to the human protein Calmodulin. A CPP is a short chain of amino acids capable of crossing membranes of living cells.