Carmine Pasquale Cerrato

Carmine Pasquale Cerrato


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Arbetar vid Institutionen för biokemi och biofysik
Telefon 08-16 42 64
Besöksadress Svante Arrhenius väg 16
Rum M 412
Postadress Institutionen för biokemi och biofysik 106 91 Stockholm


I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas
  • 2014. Carmine Pasquale Cerrato, Tõnis Lehto, Ülo Langel.

    Peptides and peptide-cargo complexes have been used for drug delivery and gene therapy. One of the most used delivery vectors are cell-penetrating peptides, due to their ability to be taken up by a variety of cell types and deliver a large variety of cargoes through the cell membrane with low cytotoxicity. In vitro and in vivo studies have shown their possibility and full effectiveness to deliver oligonucleotides, plasmid DNA, small interfering RNAs, antibodies, and drugs. We report in this review some of the latest strategies for peptide-mediated delivery of nucleic acids. It focuses on peptide-based vectors for therapeutic molecules and on nucleic acid delivery. In addition, we discuss recent applications and clinical trials.

  • 2015. Carmine Pasquale Cerrato (et al.). The FASEB Journal 29 (11), 4589-4599

    Cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) are short, nontoxic peptides with cationic and/or amphipathic properties able to cross the cellular membrane. CPPs are used for the delivery of a wide variety of cargoes, such as proteins, oligonucleotides, and therapeutic molecules. The aim of the present study was to synthesize unusually small novel CPPs targeting mitochondria based on the Szeto-Schiller peptide (SS-31) to influence intramitochondrial processes and to improve the biologic effects. All the peptides used were synthesized manually using 9-fluorenylmethyloxycarbonyl chemistry. In the first part of the study, HeLa 705, U87, and bEnd.3 cells were used as in vitro delivery model. Cells were incubated for 24 h at 37°C and 5% CO2 with different concentrations of our peptides. Cell proliferation assay was performed to evaluate cell viability. Biologic effects such as mitochondrial membrane potential and antioxidant activity were evaluated. H2O2 was used as positive control. Uptake studies were performed using peptides conjugated with 5(6)-carboxyfluorescein (FAM). Fluorescent microscopy was used to determine presence and localization of peptides into the cells. Isolated mitochondria from pretreated cells and mitochondria treated after isolation were used to confirm the targeting ability of the peptide. Uptake of FAM alone was used as negative control. Microscopy studies confirmed the ability of peptides to penetrate cell. Localization analysis showed increase in uptake by 35% compared with SS-31. Mitochondrial CPP 1 (mtCPP-1) had no effect on mitochondrial membrane potential and prevented reactive oxygen species formation in bEnd.3 cells by 2-fold compared with SS-31. No cytotoxicity was observed even at high concentration (100 µM). These data suggest that mtCPP-1 is a mitochondrial CPP and protect mitochondria from oxidative damage due to its own antioxidant activities.-Cerrato, C. P., Pirisinu M., Vlachos E. N., Langel, Ü. Novel cell-penetrating peptide targeting mitochondria.

  • 2015. Carmine Pasquale Cerrato, Ülo Langel, Lena Mäler.

    More than twenty years after the discovery of the first cell-penetrating peptide (CPP), a large number of both naturally occurring as well as engineered CPPs have been discovered. Generally, CPPs are short polycationic sequences of less than 30 amino acids that are able to translocate different cargoes into cells. They are amphipathic and net positively charged at physiological pH. The cargo can be covalently attached to the CPP, which can be achieved by expression as a fusion construct or by chemical coupling; or the cargo and carrier could bind each other non-covalently mainly through ionic interactions.

    A series of CPPs targeting mitochondria (mtCPPs) were studied in an effort to optimize their applications for the reduction of reactive oxygen species targeting this therapeutically important organelle. Mitochondria have evolved to play a vital role in both life and death of eukaryotic cells, through involvement in numerous cellular functions, such as the proficient production of energy from ATP biosynthesis and the regulation of programmed cell death. As a result, dysfunction in the biochemical processes housed within this organelle is implicated in diverse diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and neurodegenerative disorders. Advancing mitochondrial medicine by probing the subcellular biochemistry or targeting therapeutics into this organelle has motivated the development of effective mitochondrial delivery vectors. A fluorescent probe was covalently attached at the N-terminus of the analog peptides to determine the cellular internalization and the possibility to be transported to mitochondria by mtCPPs. The results report the development of a novel cationic peptides (mtCPP-1), which is readily cell permeable and preferentially localize into the mitochondria of living mammalian cells. By substitutions with both natural and synthetic amino acids, and monitoring the intracellular localization by fluorescence microscopy, the mitochondrial accumulation with a cationic peptide was achieved. The biological and chemical characterization of mtCPP-1 revealed the importance of balancing the opposing characteristics of positive charge and lipophilicity to attain preferential sequestration into mitochondria, as well as provide evidence that this antioxidant peptide will be suitable as mitochondrial delivery vector.

  • 2015. Carmine Cerrato, Kadi-Liis Veiman, Ülo Langel. Advances in the Discovery and Development of Peptide Therapeutics, 160-171
  • 2017. Carmine Pasquale Cerrato, Ülo Langel. Molecular therapy. Methods & clinical development 5, 221-231

    Previously, we designed and synthesized a library of mitochondrial antioxidative cell-penetrating peptides (mtCPPs) superior to the parent peptide, SS31, to protect mitochondria from oxidative damage. A library of antioxidative glutathione analogs called glutathione peptides (UPFs), exceptional in hydroxyl radical elimination compared with glutathione, were also designed and synthesized. Here, a follow-up study is described, investigating the effects of the most promising members from both libraries on reactive oxidative species scavenging ability. None of the peptides influenced cell viability at the concentrations used. Fluorescence microscopy studies showed that the fluorescein-mtCPP1-UPF25 (mtgCPP) internalized into cells, and spectrofluorometric analysis determined the presence and extent of peptide into different cell compartments. mtgCPP has superior antioxidative activity compared with mtCPP1 and UPF25 against H2O2 insult, preventing ROS formation by 2- and 3-fold, respectively. Moreover, we neither observed effects on mitochondrial membrane potential nor production of ATP. These data indicate that mtgCPP is targeting mitochondria, protecting them from oxidative damage, while also being present in the cytosol. Our hypothesis is based on a synergistic effect resulting from the fused peptide. The mitochondrial peptide segment is targeting mitochondria, whereas the glutathione analog peptide segment is active in the cytosol, resulting in increased scavenging ability.

  • 2017. Moataz Dowaidar (et al.). Scientific Reports 7

    Cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) uptake mechanism is still in need of more clarification to have a better understanding of their action in the mediation of oligonucleotide transfection. In this study, the effect on early events (1 h treatment) in transfection by PepFect14 (PF14), with or without oligonucleotide cargo on gene expression, in HeLa cells, have been investigated. The RNA expression profile was characterized by RNA sequencing and confirmed by qPCR analysis. The gene regulations were then related to the biological processes by the study of signaling pathways that showed the induction of autophagy-related genes in early transfection. A ligand library interfering with the detected intracellular pathways showed concentration-dependent effects on the transfection efficiency of splice correction oligonucleotide complexed with PepFect14, proving that the autophagy process is induced upon the uptake of complexes. Finally, the autophagy induction and colocalization with autophagosomes have been confirmed by confocal microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. We conclude that autophagy, an inherent cellular response process, is triggered by the cellular uptake of CPP-based transfection system. This finding opens novel possibilities to use autophagy modifiers in future gene therapy.

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Senast uppdaterad: 28 mars 2018

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