Modulation of cellular function by TAT mediated transduction of full length proteins

Curr Protein Pept Sci. 2003 Apr;4(2):97-104. doi: 10.2174/1389203033487289.


Due to the barrier imposed by the cell membrane, delivery of macromolecules in excess of 500 Daltons directly into cells remains problematic. However, proteins, which have been evolutionarily selected to perform specific functions, are therefore an attractive therapeutic agent to treat a variety of human diseases. In practice, the direct intracellular delivery of these proteins has, until recently, been difficult to achieve due primarily to the bioavailability barrier of the plasma membrane, which effectively prevents the uptake of the majority of peptides and proteins by limiting their passive entry. However, recent work using small cationic peptides, termed protein transduction domains (PTDs), derived from nucleic acid binding proteins, such as HIV TAT protein or the Dros. m. transcription factor Antp. or synthetic poly-Arginine, have now been shown to deliver a myriad of molecules, including synthetic small molecules, peptides and proteins, into animal models in vivo. Here, we focus on the delivery of biologically active, full length proteins to treat pre-clinical disease models.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Products, tat / chemistry
  • Gene Products, tat / genetics
  • Gene Products, tat / metabolism*
  • HIV-1 / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Peptides / metabolism*
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Protein Transport*
  • Proteins / chemistry
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • Transduction, Genetic*
  • tat Gene Products, Human Immunodeficiency Virus


  • Gene Products, tat
  • Peptides
  • Proteins
  • tat Gene Products, Human Immunodeficiency Virus