Novel pharmaceuticals in the form of metallopeptides can be used to target the mitochondria present in cancer cells, according to new research published by researchers from King's College London, UK. The copper-containing peptide is readily taken up by mitochondria in breast cancer stem cells and triggers programmed cell death, apoptosis. The approach side-steps the limitations of more conventional organometallic agents that the team has investigated such as copper(II) phenanthroline. “Attachment of mitochondrial-penetrating peptides enables selective and efficient delivery to mitochondria,” the team suggests.
Metallopeptide meets malignant mitochondria