Design of a tumor homing cell-penetrating peptide for drug delivery
Mäe M., Myrberg H., El-Andaloussi S., Langel U.
The major drawbacks with conventional cancer chemotherapy are the lack of satisfactory specificity towards tumor cells and poor antitumor activity. In order to improve these characteristics, chemotherapeutic drugs can be conjugated to targeting moieties e.g. to peptides with the ability to recognize cancer cells. We have previously reported that combining a tumor homing peptide with a cell-penetrating peptide yields a chimeric peptide with tumor cell specificity that can carry cargo molecules inside the cells. In the present study, we have used a linear breast tumor homing peptide, CREKA, in conjunction with a cell-penetrating peptide, pVEC. This new chimeric peptide, CREKA-pVEC, is more convenient to synthesize and moreover it is better in translocating cargo molecules inside cancer cells as compared to previously published PEGA-pVEC peptide. This study demonstrates that CREKA-pVEC is a suitable vehicle for targeted intracellular delivery of a DNA alkylating agent, chlorambucil, as the chlorambucil-peptide conjugate was substantially better at killing cancer cells in vitro than the anticancer drug alone. © 2008 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.