Cell Penetrating Peptoids (CPPos): Synthesis of a Small Combinatorial Library by Using IRORI MiniKans

Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2012 Nov 23;5(12):1265-81. doi: 10.3390/ph5121265.


Cell penetrating peptoids (CPPos) are potent mimics of the corresponding cell penetrating peptides (CPPs). The synthesis of diverse oligomeric libraries that display a variety of backbone scaffolds and side-chain appendages are a very promising source of novel CPPos, which can be used to either target different cellular organelles or even different tissues and organs. In this study we established the submonomer-based solid phase synthesis of a "proof of principle" peptoid library in IRORI MiniKans to expand the amount for phenotypic high throughput screens of CPPos. The library consisting of tetrameric peptoids [oligo(N-alkylglycines)] was established on Rink amide resin in a split and mix approach with hydrophilic and hydrophobic peptoid side chains. All CPPos of the presented library were labeled with rhodamine B to allow for the monitoring of cellular uptake by fluorescent confocal microscopy. Eventually, all the purified peptoids were subjected to live cell imaging to screen for CPPos with organelle specificity. While highly charged CPPos enter the cells by endocytosis with subsequent endosomal release, critical levels of lipophilicity allow other CPPos to specifically localize to mitochondria once a certain lipophilicity threshold is reached.