Nitric oxide (NO) is an important gaseous signaling molecule in various physiological processes, which functions through interactions with its acceptor molecules located in organelles. NO has an extremely short half-life, making it challenging to experimentally achieve effective NO levels in organelles to study these interactions. Here we developed an organelle-specific, peptide-based NO delivery material that targets the nucleus. NO was attached to the SH group of a cysteine residue inserted into the N-terminus of a cell-penetrating peptide (CPP) conjugated to varying repeats of the nuclear localization signal (NLS), which we denoted NO-CysCPP-NLS, through S-nitrosylation. NO-CysCPP-NLS strongly induced osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells. This delivery concept can be extended to cells other than stem cells to elucidate the effects of NO release in the nucleus. Furthermore, conjugation of NO to CysCPP fused to mitochondria- or lysosome-targeting signals can be used to deliver NO to other organelles such as mitochondria and lysosomes, respectively.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by National Research Foundation grants (2018R1A2B2002062 and 2017R1D1A1B03034131) from the Korean government.
© 2023 Elsevier Inc.
- Cell-penetrating peptide
- Mesenchymal stem cells
- Nitric oxide
- Nuclear localization signal