Cellular analysis and PNA encoded libraries
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A peptide nucleic acid (PNA) encoded 1296 member peptide library was synthesised and incubated with a variety of cell types. Library members entering cells were extracted, hybridised onto DNA microarrays and the peptide identity was determined via deconvolution. Global consensus analysis highlighted the tetrapepide, Glu-Llp- Glu-Glu (Llp is 6-hexamine-N-aminoacetic acid), a surprise in view of the basic residues typically observed in cell penetrating peptides. When evaluated, Glu-Llp- Glu-Glu revealed cellular uptake comparable to a known basic peptide (tetraLlp). In depth delineation via clustering analysis allowed assessment of differential cellular uptake, with the identified peptides showing clear cellular specificity. This was verified by peptide synthesis and cellular uptake analysis by flow-cytometry, and in all cases an endocytic uptake mechanism was confirmed. This approach establishes a strategy for the identification of short peptides as tools for selective delivery into specific cell types. The incubation of a 10,000 member PNA-encoded peptide library with D54 and HEK293T transfected with CCR6 cells followed by microarray analysis allowed detailed information on the interaction between peptide-ligands and cell surface receptors to be extracted. This allowed the identification of new ligands for integrins and G-protein coupled receptors and offers a novel approach to ligand discovery allowing the comparative analysis of different cell types for the identification of differences in surface-receptor ligands and/or receptor expression between various cell types. In addition, this work included the development of a novel method for the indirect amplification of a PNA library by amplification of a complementary DNA library hybridised to the PNA. The generation of 10,000 defined pieces of DNA would have a myriad of applications, not least in the area of defined or directed sequencing and synthetic biology, but also in applications associated with encoding and tagging. By this approach DNA microarrays were used to allow the linear amplification of immobilised DNA sequences on an array followed by PCR amplification. Arrays of increasing sophistication (1; 10; 3875; 10,000 defined oligonucleotides) were used to validate the process, with sequences verified by selective hybridisation to a complementary DNA microarray with DNA sequencing demonstrating error rates of ca ≈ 0.2%. This technique offers an economical and efficient way of producing hundreds to thousands of specific DNA primers, while the DNA-arrays can be used as “factories” allowing specific DNA oligonucleotide pools to be generated with or without masking. This study also demonstrated a significant variance observed between the sequence frequencies found via Solexa sequencing compared to microarray analysis.