Solid-phase strategies speed up the production of both short- and long-sequence peptides compared with solution methodologies. Therefore, solid-phase custom peptide synthesis (SPPS), proposed by Merrifield in the early 1960s, contributed to the 'Peptide Revolution' in the fields of diagnostics, and drug and vaccine development. Since then, peptide chemistry research has aimed to optimize these synthetic procedures, focusing on areas such as amide bond formation (the coupling step), solid supports and automation. Particular attention was devoted to the environmental impact of SPPS: the requirement for large amounts of organic solvents meant high costs for industrial peptide manufacturing that needed to be reduced. SPPS, alone or in hybrid technologies, has become strategic for the production of peptides as active pharmaceutical ingredients on a commercial scale.
Progress in genomics and proteomics attended to the door for better understanding the recent rapid expanding complex research field of metabolomics. This trend in biomedical research increasingly focuses to the development of patient-specific therapeutic approaches with higher efficiency and sustainability. Simultaneously undesired adverse reactions are avoided. In parallel, the development of molecules for molecular imaging is required not only for the imaging of morphological structures but also for the imaging of metabolic processes like the aberrant expression of the cysteine protease cathepsin B (CtsB) gene and the activity of the resulting product associated with metastasis and invasiveness of malign tumors.
Finally the objective is to merge imaging and therapy at the same level. The design of molecules which fulfil these responsibilities is pivotal and requires proper chemical methodologies. In this context our modified solid phase custom peptide synthesis using temperature shifts during synthesis is considered as an appropriate technology. We generated highly variable conjugates which consist of molecules useful as diagnostically and therapeutically active molecules. As an example the modular PNA products with the complementary sequence to the CtsB mRNA and additionally with a cathepsin B cleavage site had been prepared as functional modules for distinction of cell lines with differentCtsBgene expression. After ligation to the modular peptide-based BioShuttle carrier, which was utilized to facilitate the delivery of the functional modules into the cells' cytoplasm, the modules were scrutinized.收