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Diving through Membranes: Molecular Cunning to Enforce the Endosomal Escape of Antibody-Targeted Anti-Tumor Toxins

Author(s): Hendrik Fuchs | Christopher Bachran | David J. Flavell

Journal: Antibodies
ISSN 2073-4468

Volume: 2;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 209;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: targeted tumor therapies | endosomal escape | cell penetrating peptides | viral membrane fusion proteins | saponin | monensin | chloroquine | polyethylenimine | photochemical internalization

Membranes are vital barriers by which cells control the flux of molecules and energy between their exterior and interior and also between their various intracellular compartments. While numerous transport systems exist for ions and small molecules, the cytosolic uptake of larger biological molecules and in particular antibody-targeted drugs, is a big challenge. Inducing leakage of the plasma membrane is unfavorable since the target cell specificity mediated by the antibody would likely be lost in this case. After binding and internalization, the antibody drug conjugates reach the endosomes. Thus, enforcing the endosomal escape of anti-tumor toxins without affecting the integrity of other cellular membranes is of paramount importance. Different strategies have been developed in the last decades to overcome endosomal accumulation and subsequent lysosomal degradation of targeted protein-based drugs. In this review we summarize the various efforts made to establish efficient techniques to disrupt the endosomal membrane barrier including the use of molecular ferries such as cell penetrating peptides or viral membrane fusion proteins, endosomal leakage inducing molecules such as saponins or monensin and physicochemical methods as represented by photochemical internalization.
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