Live-cell delivery of a fully synthetic protein having selectivity towards a particular target is a promising approach with potential applications for basic research and therapeutics. Cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) allow the cellular delivery of proteins but mostly result in endosomal entrapment, leading to lack of bioavailability. Herein, we report the design and synthesis of a CPP fused to 4-((4-(dimethylamino)phenyl)azo)benzoic acid (DABCYL) to enhance cellular uptake of fluorescently labelled synthetic protein analogues in low micromolar concentration. The attachment of cyclic deca-arginine (cR10) modified with a single lysine linked to DABCYL to synthetic ubiquitin (Ub) and small ubiquitin-like modifier-2 (SUMO-2) scaffolds resulted in a threefold higher uptake efficacy in live cells compared to the unmodified cR10. We could also achieve cR10DABCYL-assisted delivery of Ub and a Ub variant (Ubv) based activity-based probes for functional studies of deubiquitinases in live cells.
- activity-based probes
- cell-penetrating peptides
- small ubiquitin like modifier (SUMO)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemistry (all)