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Despite the great potential of CPPs in therapeutics and diagnosis, their application still suffers from a non-negligible drawback: a complete lack of cell-type specificity. In the innumerous routes proposed for CPP cell entry there is common agreement that electrostatic interactions between cationic CPPs and anionic components in membranes, including lipids and glycosaminoglycans, play a crucial role. Tumor cells have been shown to overexpress certain glycosaminoglycans at the cell membrane surface and to possess a higher amount of anionic lipids in their outer leaflet when compared with healthy cells. Such molecules confer tumor cell membranes an enhanced anionic character, a property that could be exploited by CPPs to preferentially target these cells. Herein, these aspects are discussed in an attempt to confer CPPs certain selectivity toward cancer cells.


Isabel D Alves, Manon Carré, Solange Lavielle. A Pathway Toward Tumor Cell-Selective CPPs? Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.). 2015;1324:279-301

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PMID: 26202276

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