The intracellular delivery of transcription factor/cofactor using cell penetrating peptide (CPP) can lead to selective osteogenesis. The present work investigates the cell-penetrating potential of the a cyclic, α‐helical cell-penetrating peptide based on leucine and lysine residues (cLK) for intracellular delivery in MC3T3 cells and the osteogenic effects of a C-terminal proline‑serine‑threonine-rich (PST) domain of Runx2 using cLK in rat mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). We confirmed that the combination of cLK and fluorescein 5-isothiocyanate (FITC)-fragmented-Runx2 (fRunx2) showed an enhanced cell-penetrating activity of FITC-fRunx2 compared with FITC-fRunx2 alone. In addition, the fRunx2-cLK group showed strong staining with alizarin red compared with other groups and the degree of alizarin red staining in the fRunx2-cLK group was also 1.2-fold higher than that in the fRunx2-Tat group. The ALP and osteocalcin gene expression levels in the fRunx2-cLK group were higher than those in the other groups. The fRunx2 transferred effectively into the cytoplasm aided by the cLK peptide and augmented the osteogenic differentiation of MSCs.
- Cell penetrating peptide
- Mesenchymal stem cell