Cellular internalization of fluorescent proteins via arginine-rich intracellular delivery peptide in plant cells

Plant Cell Physiol. 2005 Mar;46(3):482-8. doi: 10.1093/pcp/pci046. Epub 2005 Feb 2.


The protein delivery across cellular membranes or compartments is limited by low biomembrane permeability because of the hydrophobic characteristics of cell membranes. Usually the delivery processes utilize passive protein channels or active transporters to overcome the membrane impediment. In this report, we demonstrate that arginine-rich intracellular delivery (AID) peptide is capable of efficiently delivering fused fluorescent proteins unpreferentially into different plant tissues of both tomato (a dicot plant) and onion (a monocot plant) in a fully bioactive form. Thus, cellular internalization via AID peptide can be a powerful tool characterized by its simplicity, non-invasion and high efficiency to express those bioactive proteins in planta or in plant cells in vivo. This novel method may alternatively provide broader applications of AID chimera in plants without the time-consuming transgenic approaches.

MeSH terms

  • Allium / metabolism*
  • Arginine / chemistry
  • Biological Transport / drug effects
  • Cell Membrane / drug effects*
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • Endocytosis / drug effects*
  • Endocytosis / physiology
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / genetics
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / metabolism*
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / metabolism*
  • Oligopeptides / chemistry
  • Oligopeptides / pharmacology
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Peptides / pharmacology*
  • Plant Epidermis / drug effects
  • Plant Epidermis / metabolism
  • Plasmids / genetics
  • Plasmids / metabolism
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism


  • Oligopeptides
  • Peptides
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • octa-arginine peptide
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Arginine