Arginine containing peptides as delivery vectors

Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2003 Feb 10;55(2):281-94. doi: 10.1016/s0169-409x(02)00183-7.


Recently several membrane translocalizational signals (MTS) have been identified and applied to various applications. These peptide signals, ranging between nine and 30 amino acid residues in length, have the capability of crossing plasma membrane, in addition to delivering other biological molecules into cells. To date, small molecules, peptides, proteins, oligonucleotides, plasmids and even nanometer-sized particles have been delivered. These MTS sequences vary from hydrophobic to purely hydrophilic, and, surprisingly, all of them are able to penetrate cellular membrane in an energy-independent pathway. Potentially, MTS could be used as delivery vectors for a number of therapeutic agents. In this review, we specifically focus on arginine-containing MTS, and their properties, characteristics, in vitro and in vivo applications are discussed in detail.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arginine / chemistry*
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Drug Carriers
  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • Gene Transfer Techniques
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Nucleic Acids / administration & dosage
  • Nucleic Acids / chemistry
  • Peptides / administration & dosage*
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Peptides / pharmacokinetics
  • Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Proteins / chemistry
  • Proteins / pharmacokinetics


  • Drug Carriers
  • Nucleic Acids
  • Peptides
  • Proteins
  • Arginine