Biotherapeutics are a promising class of molecules in drug discovery, but they are often limited to extracellular targets due to their poor cell penetration. High-throughput cell penetration assays are required for the optimization of biotherapeutics for enhanced cell penetration. We developed a HaloTag-based assay called the chloroalkane penetration assay (CAPA), which is quantitative, high-throughput, and compartment-specific. We demonstrate the ability of CAPA to profile extent of cytosolic penetration with respect to concentration, presence of serum, temperature, and time. We also used CAPA to investigate structure-penetration relationships for bioactive stapled peptides and peptides fused to cell-penetrating sequences. CAPA is not only limited to measuring cytosolic penetration. Using a cell line where HaloTag is localized to the nucleus, we show quantitative measurement of nuclear penetration. Going forward, CAPA will be a valuable method for measuring and optimizing the cell penetration of biotherapeutics.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry