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  • A MALDI-TOF-based Method for Studying the Transport of BBB Shuttles-Enhancing Sensitivity and Versatility of Cell-Based In Vitro Transport Models.

A MALDI-TOF-based Method for Studying the Transport of BBB Shuttles-Enhancing Sensitivity and Versatility of Cell-Based In Vitro Transport Models.

Scientific reports (2019-03-21)
Pol Arranz-Gibert, Bernat Guixer, Roger Prades, Sonia Ciudad, Ernest Giralt, Meritxell Teixidó
ABSTRACT

In recent decades, peptide blood-brain barrier shuttles have emerged as a promising solution for brain drugs that are not able to enter this organ. The research and development of these compounds involve the use of in vitro cell-based models of the BBB. Nevertheless, peptide transport quantification implies the use of large amounts of peptide (upper micromolar range for RP-HPLC-PDA) or of derivatives (e.g. fluorophore or quantum-dot attachment, radiolabeling) in the donor compartment in order to enhance the detection of these molecules in the acceptor well, although their structure is highly modified. Therefore, these methodologies either hamper the use of low peptide concentrations, thus hindering mechanistic studies, or do not allow the use of the unmodified peptide. Here we successfully applied a MALDI-TOF MS methodology for transport quantification in an in vitro BBB cell-based model. A light version of the acetylated peptide was evaluated, and the transport was subsequently quantified using a heavy internal standard (isotopically acetylated). We propose that this MALDI-TOF MS approach could also be applied to study the transport across other biological barriers using the appropriate in vitro transport models (e.g. Caco-2, PAMPA).