Development of poly(lactide-co-glycolide) nanoparticles functionalized with a mitochondria penetrating peptide
The development of mitochondria-targeting cell permeable vectors represents a promising therapeutic approach for several diseases, such as cancer and oxidative pathologies. Nevertheless, access to mitochondria can be difficult. A new hybrid material composed by poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) functionalized with a 6-mer mitochondria penetrating peptide (MPP), consisting in alternating arginine and unnatural cyclohexylalanine, was developed. Circular dichroism, FT-IR and DSC studies indicated that the conjugation of the peptide with the polymer led to the obtainment of a more rigid material with respect to both PLGA and MPP as such. In particular, a conformational rearrangement to a helical structure was observed for MPP. MPP–PLGA conjugates were used for the preparation of nanoparticles that showed no cytotoxicity in MTT assay, suggesting their putative use for future studies on mitochondria targeting.