Enhancing the Therapeutic Potential of Extracellular Vesicles Using Peptide Technology
Martin Perez C., Conceição M., Raz R., Wood MJA., Roberts TC.
Extracellular vesicles are lipid-bilayer-enclosed nanoparticles present in the majority of biological fluids that mediate intercellular communication. EVs are able to transfer their contents (including nucleic acids, proteins, lipids, and small molecules) to recipient cells, and thus hold great promise as drug delivery vehicles. However, their therapeutic application is limited by lack of efficient cargo loading strategies, a need to improve EV tissue-targeting capabilities and a requirement to improve escape from the endolysosomal system. These challenges can be effectively addressed by modifying EVs with peptides which confer specific advantageous properties, thus enhancing their therapeutic potential. Here we provide an overview of the applications of peptide technology with respect to EV therapeutics. We focus on the utility of EV-modifying peptides for the purposes of promoting cargo loading, tissue-targeting and endosomal escape, leading to enhanced delivery of the EV cargo to desired cells/tissues and subcellular target locations. Both endogenous and exogenous methods for modifying EVs with peptides are considered.