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1.  Targeted prodrug design to optimize drug delivery 
AAPS PharmSci  2000;2(1):48-58.
Classical prodrug design often represents a nonspecific chemical approach to mask undesirable drug properties such as limited bioavailability, lack of site specificity, and chemical instability. On the other hand, targeted prodrug design represents a new strategy for directed and efficient drug delivery. Particularly, targeting the prodrugs to a specific enzyme or a specific membrane transporter, or both, has potential as a selective drug delivery system in cancer chemotherapy or as an efficient oral drug delivery system. Site-selective targeting with prodrugs can be further enhanced by the simultaneous use of gene delivery to express the requisite enzymes or transporters. This review highlights evolving strategies in targeted prodrug design, including antibody-directed enzyme prodrug therapy, genedirected enzyme prodrug therapy, and peptide transporter-associated prodrug therapy.
PMCID: PMC2751001  PMID: 11741222
2.  Drug inhibition of Gly-Sar uptake and hPepT1 localization using hPepT1-GFP fusion protein 
AAPS PharmSci  2001;3(1):9-17.
An hPepT1-GFP fusion construct was made to study drug inhibition of dipeptide uptake and apical, basolateral, or subcellular hPepT1 localization. The hPepT1 stop codon was mutated by polymerase chain reaction and was subsequently cloned into the pEGFP-N1 vector. The hPepT1-GFP fusion construct was then transfected into Caco-2 and HeLa cells, and drug inhibition was studied by inhibiting 3H-Gly-Sar uptake. Western blot analysis was used to determine hPepT1-GFP expression levels and confocal microscopy was used to examine the localization. Both anti-hPepT1 antibody and anti-GFP antibody recognized a 120kd hPepT1-GFP fusion protein in the transfected cells. The 3H-Gly-Sar uptake in transfected HeLa cells was enhanced more than 20 times compared with the control. Valacyclovir (5 mmol/L) was able to completely inhibit 3H-Gly-Sar uptake in these transfected cells. Confocal microscopy showed that the hPepT1-GFP mainly localized in the Caco-2 cell apical membrane, but was present throughout the entire HeLa cell membranes. The hPepT1-GFP fusion protein was not found in either early endosome or lysosome of Caco-2 cells under normal conditions; however, it was detected in some subsets of lysosomes and early endosomes in phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA)-treated Caco-2 cells.
PMCID: PMC2751234  PMID: 11741253
hPepT1; Localization; Apical Membrane; Lysosome; Valacyclovir
3.  Human proton/oligopeptide transporter (POT) genes: Identification of putative human genes using bioinformatics 
AAPS PharmSci  2000;2(2):76-97.
Purpose: The proton-dependent oligopeptide transporters (POT) gene family currently consists of ∼70 cloned cDNAs derived from diverse organisms. In mammals, two genes encoding peptide transporters, PepT1 and PepT2 have been cloned in several species including humans, in addition to a rat histidine/peptide transporter (rPHT1). Because the Candida elegans genome contains five putative POT genes, we searched the available protein and nucleic acid databases for additional mammalian/human POT genes, using iterative BLAST runs and the human expressed sequence tags (EST) database. The apparent human orthologue of rPHT1 (expression largely confined to rat brain and retina) was represented by numerous ESTs originating from many tissues. Assembly of these ESTs resulted in a contiguous sequence covering ∼95% of the suspected coding region. The contig sequences and analyses revealed the presence of several possible splice variants of hPHT1. A second closely related human EST-contig displayed high identity to a recently cloned mouse cDNA encoding cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)-inducible 1 protein (gi:4580995). This contig served to identify a PAC clone containing deduced exons and introns of the likely human orthologue (termed hPHT2). Northern analyses with EST clones indicated that hPHT1 is primarily expressed in skeletal muscle and spleen, whereas hPHT2 is found in spleen, placenta, lung, leukocytes, and heart. These results suggest considerable complexity of the human POT gene family, with relevance to the absorption and distribution of cephalosporins and other peptoid drugs.
PMCID: PMC2751030  PMID: 11741232
4.  Function and immunolocalization of overexpressed human intestinal H+/peptide cotransporter in adenovirus-transduced Caco-2 cells 
AAPS PharmSci  1999;1(3):41-49.
Purpose. To determine the localization of the human intestinal H+/peptide cotransporter (hPepT1) and its function in intestinal epithelial cells after adenoviral transduction. Methods. Caco-2 cells grown on Transwell membrane filters were transduced with a recombinant replication-deficient adenovirus carrying the hPepT1 gene. The transport of Gly-Sar across both apical and basolateral membranes was measured after adenoviral transduction as a function of pH, temperature, inhibitors, and substrate concentration. The localization of hPepT1 was examined by immunocytochemistry using confocal laser scanning microscopy. Results. The apical-to-basolateral and basolateral-to-apical transport of Gly-Sar in Caco-2 cells after viral transduction was increased 3.3 and 3.5-fold, respectively. The similar magnitude of Gly-Sar permeability from either direction indicates involvement of identical transport pathways in both membranes. This was further confirmed by immunocytochemistry showing that hPepT1 was localized in the apical and basolateral membrane of Caco-2 cells after adenoviral transduction. In both directions, Gly-Sar transport was enhanced in the presence of a pH gradient. In addition, the basolateral-to-apical Gly-Sar transport was dependent on temperature, multiplicity of infection (MOI), and Gly-Sar concentration. It was inhibited in the presence of excess Gly-Pro and cephalexin. Conclusions. Caco-2 cell monolayers represent an appropriate model to study gene expression in intestinal epithelial cells. Transport characteristics of Gly-Sar from the basolateral to the apical side in adenovirus-transduced Caco-2 cells are in agreement with those from the apical to the basolateral side, indicating that hPepT1 is also expressed in the basolateral membrane and displays a similar level of transport enhancement after adenovirus mediated hPepT1 gene expression.
PMCID: PMC2761126  PMID: 11741208
hPepT1; Gene expression; Adenovirus; Caco-2 cells; Confocal microscopy

Results 1-4 (4)