Trojan peptides: the penetratin system for intracellular delivery

Trends Cell Biol. 1998 Feb;8(2):84-7.


Internalization of exogenous macromolecules by live cells provides a powerful approach for studying cellular functions. Understanding the mechanism of transfer from the extracellular milieu to the cytoplasm and nucleus could also contribute to the development of new therapeutic approaches. This article summarizes the unexpected properties of penetratins, a class of peptides with translocating properties and capable of carrying hydrophilic compounds across the plasma membrane. This unique system allows direct targeting of oligopeptides and oligonucleotides to the cytoplasm and nucleus, is non-cell-type specific and highly efficient, and therefore has several applications of potential cell-biology and clinical interest.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Biological Transport / physiology
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism*
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism*
  • Homeodomain Proteins / chemistry*
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics
  • Homeodomain Proteins / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data


  • Homeodomain Proteins