We designed a peptide - polymer conjugate (CPCCtat) as a novel gene carrier that could control gene expression responding to the intracellular caspase-3 signal. This carrier consists of an uncharged main polymer chain and a cationic peptide side chain, which includes the substrate sequence of caspase-3 and the protein transduction domain sequence of HIV-1 Tat. In the present study, CPCCtat formed a tight complex with DNA through an electrostatic interaction, and in this state the gene expression was totally suppressed. In contrast, the complex disintegrated in the presence of caspase-3 due to cleavage of the cationic portion from CPCCtat. This event led to an activation of gene expression. Our results also indicate that the complex can be delivered into living cells due to the cell-permeable peptide side chain of CPCCtat. This intracellular signal-responsive system with CPCCtat will be useful for the cell-specific gene expression system.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Polymers and Plastics
- Materials Chemistry