Charting the course across the blood-brain barrier

J Clin Invest. 2011 Jan;121(1):31-3. doi: 10.1172/JCI45758. Epub 2010 Dec 22.


The blood-brain barrier (BBB) presents a significant obstacle to delivery of targeted therapies to brain tumors. In this issue of the JCI, Staquicini and colleagues apply an in vivo phage-displayed library of random peptides to identify differentially expressed peptides that can be used to transport targeted agents across the intact BBB. The authors uncover a non-canonical, peptide-mediated iron-mimicry mechanism to induce transport of the transferrin/transferrin receptor complex across the BBB. They then demonstrate the ability of phage-targeting approaches to deliver therapeutic cargo and molecular imaging reporters across the BBB in an intracranial glioblastoma mouse model.

Publication types

  • Comment
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / drug effects*
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / physiopathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Brain Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Glioblastoma / drug therapy
  • Glioblastoma / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Iron / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Molecular Mimicry
  • Peptide Library
  • Receptors, Transferrin / metabolism
  • Transferrin / metabolism


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Peptide Library
  • Receptors, Transferrin
  • Transferrin
  • Iron