Low Molecular Weight Protamine (LMWP), with the sequence VSRRRRRRGGRRRR, is a peptide derived from protamine, a naturally occurring, highly cationic protein. LMWP is characterized by its shorter amino acid sequence and lower molecular weight compared to native protamine.
LMWP primarily functions as a cell-penetrating peptide. Its high content of arginine residues (represented by 'R' in the sequence) allows it to effectively traverse cell membranes. This is attributed to the positive charge of the arginine residues, which interact with negatively charged components of cell membranes.
The presence of multiple arginine residues contributes to its highly positive charge, while the glycine residues (represented by 'G') may provide flexibility to the peptide chain.
Potential Drug Applications:
- Drug Delivery Systems: LMWP can be incorporated into drug delivery systems to improve the cellular uptake of drugs, especially for those with poor cell membrane permeability.
- Cancer Therapy: Its ability to penetrate cells could be harnessed to deliver anti-cancer drugs directly to tumor cells, potentially increasing the efficacy and reducing side effects.
- Vaccine Development: LMWP might be explored as an adjuvant in vaccine formulations to enhance immune responses.