Highly Efficient, Nonpeptidic Oligoguanidinium Vectors that Selectively Internalize into Mitochondria

Oligoguanidinium-based cell delivery systems have gained broad interest in the drug delivery field since one decade ago. Thus, arginine-containing peptides as Tat or Antp, oligoarginine peptides, and derived peptoids have been described as shuttles for delivering nonpermeant drugs inside cancer cells. Herein we report a new family of tetraguanidinium cell penetrating vectors efficiently internalized in human tumor cells. Their high internalization, studied by confocal microscopy and flow cytometry, as well as their specific accumulation in mitochondria makes these new vectors likely vehicles for the targeted delivery of anticancer drugs to mitochondria.