Protein-based therapeutics have unique therapeutic potential due to their specificity, potency, and low toxicity. The vast majority of intracellular applications of proteins require access to the cytosol. Direct entry to the cytosol is challenging due to the impermeability of the cell membrane to proteins. As a result, multiple strategies have focused on endocytic uptake of proteins. Endosomally entrapped cargo, however, can have very low escape efficiency, with protein degradation occurring in acidic endolysosomal compartments. In this review, we briefly discuss endosomal escape strategies and review the strategy of cell membrane fusion, a recent strategy for direct delivery of proteins into the cell cytoplasm.
Keywords : intracellular protein delivery; endosomal entrapment; nanocarrier; endosomal escape; membrane fusion