Cell-surface proteins that can endocytose into brain microvascular endothelial cells serve as promising candidates for receptor-mediated transcytosis across the blood–brain barrier (BBB). Here, we comprehensively screened endocytic cell-surface proteins in hCMEC/D3 cells, a model of human brain microvascular endothelial cells, using surface biotinylation methodology and sequential window acquisition of all theoretical fragment-ion spectra-mass spectrometry (SWATH-MS)-based quantitative proteomics. Using this method, we identified 125 endocytic cell-surface proteins from hCMEC/D3 cells. Of these, 34 cell-surface proteins were selectively internalized into human brain microvascular endothelial cells, but not into human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), a model of human peripheral microvascular endothelial cells. Two cell-surface proteins, intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM1) and podocalyxin (PODXL), were identified as BBB-localized endocytic cell-surface proteins in humans, using open mRNA and protein databases. Immunohistochemical evaluation confirmed PODXL expression in the plasma membrane of hCMEC/D3 cells and revealed that anti-PODXL antibody-labeled cell-surface PODXL internalized into hCMEC/D3 cells. Immunohistochemistry further revealed that PODXL is localized at the luminal side of human brain microvessels, supporting its potential suitability for translational applications. In conclusion, our findings highlight novel endocytic cell-surface proteins capable of internalizing into human brain microvascular endothelial cells. ICAM1 or PODXL targeted antibody or ligand-labeled biopharmaceuticals and nanocarriers may provide effective targeted delivery to the brain across the BBB for the treatment of central nervous system (CNS) diseases.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited