• activity dependent neurotrophic factor;
  • cholesterol;
  • functionalization;
  • membranes;
  • peptides

A cholesteryl-functionalized derivative of activity dependent neurotrophic factor-9 peptide (a nine amino acid core peptide of activity-dependent neurotrophic factor, acting against Alzheimer’s disease) was synthesized aiming at the improvement of its bioavailability. Therefore, its uptake was comparatively investigated with that of its parent peptide by employing mouse neuroblastoma Neuro-2a cells. Owing to the hydrophobic character of this cholesteryl-functionalized peptide, it exhibited enhanced permeability and intracellular uptake while it also retained its low cytotoxicity at concentrations up to 1 μm. FACS analysis also revealed that when Neuro-2a cells were treated with this activity dependent neurotrophic factor-9 derivative, at a concentration of 50 nm, an almost 100% uptake was obtained. In addition, in vitro biological activity experiments showed that the functionalized peptide retained its neurotrophic activity at femtomolar concentration range.