Peptide-drug conjugate GnRH-sunitinib targets angiogenesis selectively at the site of action to inhibit tumor growth.

The potential to heighten the efficacy of antiangiogenic agents was explored in this study based on active targeting of tumor cells overexpressing the gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor (GnRH-R).

The rational design pursued focused on five analogs of a clinically established antiangiogenic compound (sunitinib) from which a lead candidate (SAN1) was conjugated to the targeting peptide [D-Lys6]-GnRH, generating SAN1GSC. Conjugation of SAN1 did not disrupt any of its antiangiogenic or cytotoxic properties in GnRH-R expressing prostate and breast tumor cells. Daily SAN1GSC treatments in mouse xenograft models of castration-resistant prostate cancer resulted in significant tumor growth delay compared to equimolar SAN1 or sunitinib alone. This efficacy correlated with inhibited phosphorylation of AKT and S6, together with reduced Ki-67 and CD31 expression. The superior efficacy of the peptide-drug conjugate was also attributed to the finding that higher amounts of SAN1 were delivered to the tumor site (~4-fold) following dosing of SAN1GSC compared to equimolar amounts of non-conjugated SAN1. Importantly, treatment with SAN1GSC was associated with minimal hematotoxicity and cardiotoxicity based on measurements of the left ventricular systolic function in treated mice. Our results offer preclinical proof of concept for SAN1GSC as a novel molecule that selectively reaches the tumor site and downregulates angiogenesis with negligible cardiotoxicity, thus encouraging its further clinical development and evaluation.

Cancer research. 2015 Dec 08 [Epub ahead of print]

Orestis Argyros, Theodoros Karampelas, Xenophon Asvos, Aimilia Varela, Nisar Sayyad, Athanasios Papakyriakou, Constantinos H Davos, Andreas G Tzakos, Demosthenes Fokas, Constantin Tamvakopoulos

Pharmacology-Pharmacotechnology, Biomedical Research Foundation Academy of Athens. , Pharmacology-Pharmacotechnology, Biomedical Research Foundation Academy of Athens. , Department of Chemistry, University of Ioannina. , Cardiovascular Research Laboratory, Biomedical Research Foundation Academy of Athens. , Department of Chemistry, University of Ioannina. , Department of Physical Chemistry, NCSR Demokritos. , Cardiovascular Research Laboratory, Biomedical Research Foundation Academy of Athens. , Department of Chemistry, University of Ioannina. , Materials Science and Engineering, University of Ioannina. , Pharmacology-Pharmacotechnology, Biomedical Research Foundation Academy of Athens 

PubMed

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