NGR-peptide-drug conjugates with dual targeting properties.
ABSTRACT: Peptides containing the asparagine-glycine-arginine (NGR) motif are recognized by CD13/aminopeptidase N (APN) receptor isoforms that are selectively overexpressed in tumor neovasculature. Spontaneous decomposition of NGR peptides can result in isoAsp derivatives, which are recognized by RGD-binding integrins that are essential for tumor metastasis. Peptides binding to CD13 and RGD-binding integrins provide tumor-homing, which can be exploited for dual targeted delivery of anticancer drugs. We synthesized small cyclic NGR peptide-daunomycin conjugates using NGR peptides of varying stability (c[KNGRE]-NH2, Ac-c[CNGRC]-NH2 and the thioether bond containing c[CH2-CO-NGRC]-NH2, c[CH2-CO-KNGRC]-NH2). The cytotoxic effect of the novel cyclic NGR peptide-Dau conjugates were examined in vitro on CD13 positive HT-1080 (human fibrosarcoma) and CD13 negative HT-29 (human colon adenocarcinoma) cell lines. Our results confirm the influence of structure on the antitumor activity and dual acting properties of the conjugates. Attachment of the drug through an enzyme-labile spacer to the C-terminus of cyclic NGR peptide resulted in higher antitumor activity on both CD13 positive and negative cells as compared to the branching versions.
Project description:Cyclic NGR peptides as homing devices are good candidates for the development of drug conjugates for targeted tumor therapy. In our previous study we reported that the Dau=Aoa-GFLGK(c[KNGRE]-GG-)-NH2 conjugate has a significant antitumor activity against both CD13+ HT-1080 human fibrosarcoma and CD13- but integrin positive HT-29 human colon adenocarcinoma cells. However, it seems that the free ?-amino group of Lys in the cycle is not necessary for the biological activity. Therefore, we developed novel cyclic NGR peptide-daunomycin conjugates in which Lys was replaced by different amino acids (Ala, Leu, Nle, Pro, Ser). The exchange of the Lys residue in the cycle simplified the cyclization step and resulted in a higher yield. The new conjugates showed lower chemostability against deamidation of Asn than the control compound, thus they had lower selectivity to CD13+ cells. However, the cellular uptake and cytotoxic effect of Dau=Aoa-GFLGK(c[NleNGRE]-GG-)-NH2 was higher in comparison to the control especially on HT-29 cells. Therefore, this conjugate is more suitable for drug targeting with dual targeting property.
Project description:It is well known that Arginine-Glycine-Aspartic acid (RGD) and Asparagine-Glycine-Arginine (NGR) peptides preferentially bind to integrin receptors and aminopeptidase N respectively and these two receptors play important roles in angiogenesis. Therefore ketoprofen as a non-selective cox Inhibitor was conjugated with linear RGD and NGR to take advantage of targeting capability of these two motifs and delivering ketoprofen to these cancer cells with overexpression of integrin and aminopeptidase N. In order to investigate the impact of possible steric hindrance due to the attachment of the drug to the peptide, a linear six carbon (hexanoic acid) linker was also used as a spacer. Cytotoxic effect of the synthesized compounds was evaluated against a group of cancer cell lines, including MCF-7, A2780 (αvβ3 positive), OVCAR3 (high αvβ3), HT-1-80 (high CD13) and SKOV-3 (CD13 positive). Both NGR and RGD conjugated forms of ketoprofen showed higher cytotoxic activity against OVCAR3 and HT-1-80 respectively.
Project description:Various NGR-containing peptides have been exploited for targeted delivery of drugs to CD13-positive tumor neovasculature. Recent studies have shown that compounds containing this motif can rapidly deamidate and generate isoaspartate-glycine-arginine (isoDGR), a ligand of alphavbeta3-integrin that can be also exploited for drug delivery to tumors. We have investigated the role of NGR and isoDGR peptide scaffolds on their biochemical and biological properties. Peptides containing the cyclic CNGRC sequence could bind CD13-positive endothelial cells more efficiently than those containing linear GNGRG. Peptide degradation studies showed that cyclic peptides mostly undergo NGR-to-isoDGR transition and CD13/integrin switching, whereas linear peptides mainly undergo degradation reactions involving the alpha-amino group, which generate non-functional six/seven-membered ring compounds, unable to bind alphavbeta3, and small amount of isoDGR. Structure-activity studies showed that cyclic isoDGR could bind alphavbeta3 with an affinity >100-fold higher than that of linear isoDGR and inhibited endothelial cell adhesion and tumor growth more efficiently. Cyclic isoDGR could also bind other integrins (alphavbeta5, alphavbeta6, alphavbeta8, and alpha5beta1), although with 10-100-fold lower affinity. Peptide linearization caused loss of affinity for all integrins and loss of specificity, whereas alpha-amino group acetylation increased the affinity for all tested integrins, but caused loss of specificity. These results highlight the critical role of molecular scaffold on the biological properties of NGR/isoDGR peptides. These findings may have important implications for the design and development of anticancer drugs or tumor neovasculature-imaging compounds, and for the potential function of different NGR/isoDGR sites in natural proteins.
Project description:Targeted drug deliveries as well as high resolution imaging of cancerous tissues and organs via specific cancer cell markers have become important in chemotherapeutic interventions of cancer treatment. Short peptides such as RGD and NGR are showing promising results for targeted drug delivery and in vivo imaging. We have applied on resin Huisgen's 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition to synthesize new cyclic RGD and NGR peptide analogs. Preliminary binding assays of these new analogs by fluorescence polarization indicates specific binding to purified CD13 (Aminopeptidase N) and cell lysates from MCF-7 and SKOV-3 cancer cell lines.
Project description:Integrin ?v?3 and aminopeptidase N (APN, also known as CD13) are two important targets involved in the regulation of angiogenesis, tumor proliferation, invasion, and metastasis. In this study, we developed a heterodimeric tracer consisting of arginine-glycine-aspartic (RGD) and asparagine-glycine-arginine (NGR) peptides targeting ?v?3 and CD13, respectively, for PET imaging of breast cancer. The NGR peptide was first modified with N3-NOtB2 and then conjugated to BCN-PEG4-c(RGDyK) via copper-free click chemistry. The resulting precursor was purified and radiolabeled with gallium-68. Small-animal PET/CT imaging and post-imaging biodistribution studies were performed in mice bearing human breast cancer MCF-7, MDA-MB-231, MDA-MB-468, and MX-1 xenografts and pulmonary metastases models. The expression levels of ?v?3 and CD13 in tumors were checked via immunochemical staining. The heterodimeric tracer was successfully synthesized and radiolabeled with gallium-68 at a molar activity of 45-100 MBq/nmol at the end of synthesis. It demonstrated high in vitro and in vivo stability. In static PET/CT imaging studies, the MCF-7 tumor could be clearly visualized and exhibited higher uptake at 30 min post injection of 68Ga-NGR-RGD than that of either 68Ga-RGD or 68Ga-NGR alone. High specificity was shown in blocking studies using Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) and Asp-Gly-Arg (NGR) peptides. The MCF-7 tumor exhibited the highest uptake of 68Ga-NGR-RGD followed by MDA-MB-231, MDA-MB-468, and MX-1 tumors. This was consistent with their expression levels of CD13 and ?v?3 as confirmed by western blot and immunohistochemical staining. Metastatic lesions in the lungs were clearly detectable on 68Ga-NGR-RGD PET/CT imaging in mouse models of pulmonary metastases. 68Ga-NGR-RGD, a CD13 and ?v?3 dual-receptor targeting tracer, showed higher binding avidities, targeting efficiency, and longer tumor retention time compared with monomeric 68Ga-NGR and 68Ga-RGD. Its promising in vivo performance makes it an ideal candidate for future clinical translation.
Project description:The integrins alpha vbeta3 and alpha vbeta5 and the membrane-spanning surface protein aminopeptidase N (APN) are highly expressed in tumor-induced angiogenesis, making them attractive targets for therapeutic intervention. Both integrins and APN recognize a broad range of peptides containing RGD (Arg-Gly-Asp) and NGR (Asn-Gly-Arg) motifs, respectively. Here, we describe the design, synthesis, and characterization of a series of mono- and difunctionalized platinum(IV) complexes in which a conjugated peptide motif, containing RGD, (CRGDC)c, (RGDfK)c, or NGR, is appended as a "tumor-homing device" to target tumor endothelial cells selectively over healthy cells. Platinum(IV)-peptide complexes with nonspecific amino acids or peptide moieties were prepared as controls. Concentration-response curves of these compounds were evaluated against primary proliferating endothelial cells and tumor cell lines and compared to those of cisplatin, a well-described platinum-based chemotherapeutic agent. The Pt(IV)-RGD conjugates were highly and specifically cytotoxic to cell lines containing alpha vbeta3 and alpha vbeta5, approaching the activity of cisplatin. The Pt(IV)-NGR complexes were less active than Pt(IV)-RGD-containing compounds but more active than nonspecific Pt-peptide controls. Integrin alpha vbeta3 mediated, at least in part, the anti-proliferative effect of a Pt(IV)-RGD conjugate, as demonstrated by a decreased inhibitory response when endothelial cells were either (1) incubated with an excess of alpha vbeta3/alpha vbeta5-specific RGD pentapeptides or (2) transfected with RNAi for beta 3, but not beta 1, integrins. These results suggest a rational approach to improved chemotherapy with Pt(IV)-peptide conjugates by selective drug delivery to the tumor compartment.
Project description:Peptides containing the asparagines-glycine-arginine (NGR) motif have been identified as specific ligands binding to CD13/aminopeptidase N (APN) receptor, a tumor neovascular biomarker. In this study, we synthesized a novel NGR-containing peptide (NOTA-G3-NGR), and labeled NOTA-G3-NGR with (68)Ga (t1/2 = 67.7 min). The resulting (68)Ga-NOTA-G3-NGR peptide was subject to in vitro and in vivo characterization. The microPET imaging results revealed that the (68)Ga-NOTA-G3-NGR peptide exhibits rapid and specific tumor uptake, and high tumor-to-background contrast in a subcutaneous HT-1080 fibrosarcoma mouse model. We concluded that the (68)Ga-NOTA-G3-NGR peptide has potential in the diagnosis of CD13-targeted tumor angiogenesis.
Project description:Besides various side effects caused by platinum anticancer drugs, they are not efficiently absorbed by the tumor cells. Two Pt-peptide conjugates; cyclic mPeg-CNGRC-Pt (7) and cyclic mPeg-CNGRC-Pten (8) bearing the Asn-Gly-Arg (NGR) targeting sequence, a malonoyl linker, and low molecular weight miniPEG groups have been synthesized. The platinum ligand was attached to the peptide via the carboxylic end of the malonate group at the end of the peptide. The pegylated peptide is nontoxic and highly soluble in water. Platinum conjugates synthesized using the pegylated peptides are also water-soluble with reduced or eliminated peptide immunogenicity. The choice of carboplatin as our untargeted platinum complex was due to the fact that the malonate linker chelates platinum in a manner similar to that of carboplatin. Cell toxicity assay and competition assay on the PC-3 cells (CD13 positive receptors) revealed selective delivery and destruction of PC-3 cells using targeted Pt-peptide conjugates 7 and 8 significantly more than untargeted carboplatin. Platinum uptake on PC-3 cells was 12-fold more for conjugate 7 and 3-fold more for conjugate 8 compared to that of the untargeted carboplatin, indicating selective activation of the CD13 receptors and delivery of the conjugates to CD13 positive cells. Further analysis on effects of conjugates 7 and 8 on PC-3 cells using caspase-3/7, fluorescence microscopy, and DNA fragmentation confirmed that the cells were dying by apoptosis.
Project description:The NGR peptide is one of the well-known peptides for targeting tumor cells. It has the ability to target aminopeptidase N (CD13) on tumor cells or the tumor vascular endothelium. In this study, the NGR peptide was used for targeting A subunit of the Shiga toxin to cancer cells. The cytotoxic effect of the A-NGR fusion protein was assessed on HT1080, U937, HT29 cancer cells and MRC-5 normal cells. For this purpose, cells were treated with different concentrations of A-NGR (0.5-40 µg/ml). The evaluation of cell viability was achieved by MTT assay. Apoptosis was determined by annexin-V/PI double staining flow cytometry. Alterations in the mRNA expression of apoptosis - related genes were assessed by real time RT- PCR. The results showed that A-NGR fusion protein effectively inhibited the growth of HT1080 and U937 cancer cells in comparison to negative control (PBS) but for CD13-negative HT-29 cancer cells, only at high concentrations of fusion protein was inhibited growth recorded. On the other hand, A-NGR had little cytotoxic effect on MRC-5 normal cells. The flow cytometry results showed that A-NGR induces apoptosis. Furthermore, the results of real time RT-PCR revealed that A-NGR significantly increases the mRNA expression of caspase 3 and caspase 9. Conclusively, A-NGR fusion protein has the ability of targeting CD13-positive cancer cells, the cytotoxic effect on CD13-positive cancer cells as well as has low cytotoxic effect on normal cells.
Project description:Introduction:Hypoxia-induced ? ? ? 3 integrin and aminopeptidase N (APN/CD13) receptor expression play an important role in tumor neoangiogenesis. APN/CD13-specific 68Ga-NOTA-c(NGR), ? ? ? 3 integrin-specific 68Ga-NODAGA-[c(RGD)]2, and hypoxia-specific 68Ga-DOTA-nitroimidazole enable the in vivo detection of the neoangiogenic process and the hypoxic regions in the tumor mass using positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether 68Ga-NOTA-c(NGR) and 68Ga-DOTA-nitroimidazole allow the in vivo noninvasive detection of the temporal changes of APN/CD13 expression and hypoxia in experimental He/De tumors using positron emission tomography. Materials and Methods:5 × 106 hepatocellular carcinoma (He/De) cells were used for the induction of a subcutaneous tumor model in Fischer-344 rats. He/De tumor-bearing animals were anaesthetized, and 90?min after intravenous injection of 10.2 ± 1.1?MBq 68Ga-NOTA-c(NGR) or 68Ga-NODAGA-[c(RGD)]2 (as angiogenesis tracers) or 68Ga-DOTA-nitroimidazole (for hypoxia imaging), whole-body PET/MRI scans were performed. Results:Hypoxic regions and angiogenic markers (? v ? 3 integrin and APN/CD13) were determined using 68Ga-NOTA-c(NGR), 68Ga-DOTA-nitroimidazole, and 68Ga-NODAGA-[c(RGD)]2 in subcutaneously growing He/De tumors in rats. 68Ga-NOTA-c(NGR) showed the strong APN/CD13 positivity of He/De tumors in vivo, by which observation was confirmed by western blot analysis. By the qualitative analysis of PET images, heterogenous accumulation was found inside He/De tumors using all radiotracers. Significantly (p ? 0.01) higher SUVmean and SUVmax values were found in the radiotracer avid regions of the tumors than those of the nonavid areas using hypoxia and angiogenesis-specific radiopharmaceuticals. Furthermore, a strong correlation was found between the presence of angiogenic markers, the appearance of hypoxic regions, and the tumor volume using noninvasive in vivo PET imaging. Conclusion:68Ga-DOTA-nitroimidazole and 68Ga-NOTA-c(NGR) are suitable diagnostic radiotracers for the detection of the temporal changes of hypoxic areas and neoangiogenic molecule (CD13) expression, which vary during tumor growth in a hepatocellular carcinoma model.