Discovery of Novel Peptides Targeting Pro-Atherogenic Endothelium in Disturbed Flow Regions -Targeted siRNA Delivery to Pro-Atherogenic Endothelium in vivo

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November 10, 2016

Atherosclerosis occurs preferentially in arterial regions exposed to disturbed blood flow. Targeting these pro-atherogenic regions is a potential anti-atherogenic therapeutic approach, but it has been extremely challenging. Here, using in vivo phage display approach and the partial carotid ligation model of flow-induced atherosclerosis in mouse, we identified novel peptides that specifically bind to endothelial cells (ECs) exposed to disturbed flow condition in pro-atherogenic regions. Two peptides, CLIRRTSIC and CPRRSHPIC, selectively bound to arterial ECs exposed to disturbed flow not only in the partially ligated carotids but also in the lesser curvature and branching point of the aortic arch in mice as well as human pulmonary artery branches. Peptides were conjugated to branched polyethylenimine-polyethylene glycol polymer to generate polyplexes carrying siRNA targeting intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (siICAM-1). In mouse model, CLIRRTSIC polyplexes carrying si-ICAM-1 specifically bound to endothelium in disturbed flow regions, reducing endothelial ICAM-1 expression. Mass spectrometry analysis revealed that non-muscle myosin heavy chain II A (NMHC IIA) is a protein targeted by CLIRRTSIC peptide. Further studies showed that shear stress regulates NMHC IIA expression and localization in ECs. The CLIRRTSIC is a novel peptide that could be used for targeted delivery of therapeutics such as siRNAs to pro-atherogenic endothelium.

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lChung J, Shim H, Kim K, Lee D, Kim WJ, Kang DH, Kang SW, Jo H, Kwon K:
Discovery of Novel Peptides Targeting Pro-Atherogenic Endothelium in Disturbed Flow Regions -Targeted siRNA Delivery to Pro-Atherogenic Endothelium In Vivo

Scientific Reports 6, 25636 (2016), doi:10.1038/srep25636

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