Kelley Laboratory - Cellular and Molecular Sensors

ResearchPeoplePublicationsPositions AvailableShana O. Kelley
Peptide probes of cellular function

Controlling the intracellular localization of synthetic molecules is essential for effective drug development. Nonetheless, rational control over intracellular trafficking of small molecules has remained a challenge.

The Kelley lab has engineered peptide-based conjugates to deduce rules for manipulating intracellular localization of bioactive molecules. These compounds also provide useful tools for the cellular delivery of chemically or biologically active species and can be used to study organelle-specific processes.

Organelle-specific peptidoconjugates. Eukaryotic cells are complex structures with specialized compartments organelles - that play important functional roles. We have developed a class of peptide-based conjugates displaying organellar targeting within human cells that can be used to probe specific compartments and deliver agents with chemical or biological activity. Ongoing efforts involving these compounds will focus on the following issues:
  • probing organelle-specific stress responses
  • elucidating molecular requirements for organellar localization
  • engineering pharmaceutical agents with increased efficacy by altering organellar specificity
Peptide conjugates engineered to exhibit mitochondrial vs nuclear specificity
Peptide conjugates engineered to exhibit mitochondrial vs nuclear specificity

Representative publications

"Cell-Penetrating Peptides as Delivery Vehicles for Biology and Medicine." Org. Biomol. Chem., 2008, 6, 2242.

“Mitochondria-Penetrating Peptides.”  K.L. Horton, K.M. Stewart, S.B. Fonseca, Q. Guo, S.O. Kelley, Chemistry and Biology, 2008, 15, 375. (This article was highlighted by the Faculty of 1000, Nature Methods, and C&E News.)

"Deconvolution of the Oxidative Stress Response using Organelle-specific Peptidoconjugates." K.P. Mahon, T.B. Potocky, D.L. Blair, M.D. Roy, T.Chiles, S.O. Kelley, Chemistry and Biology, 2007, 14, 923.

"Phototoxicity of Peptidoconjugates Modulated by a Single Amino Acid." L.M. Wittenhagen, J.R. Carreon, E.G. Prestwich, S.O. Kelley, Angewandte Chemie, 2005, 44, 2542.

"Synthesis, Characterization, and Cellular Uptake of DNA-Binding Rose Bengal Peptidoconjugates." J.R. Carreon, M.A. Roberts, L.M. Wittenhagen, S.O. Kelley, Organic Letters, 2005, 7, 99.

Additional projects currently underway in the Kelley group: