Title

Targeting urokinase and the transferrin receptor with novel, anti-mitotic N-Alkylisatin cytotoxin conjugates causes selective cancer cell death and reduces tumor growth

RIS ID

49486

Publication Details

Vine, K. L., Chandran, V., Locke, J. M., Matesic, L., Lee, J., Skropeta, D., Bremner, J. B. & Ranson, M. (2012). Targeting urokinase and the transferrin receptor with novel, anti-mitotic N-Alkylisatin cytotoxin conjugates causes selective cancer cell death and reduces tumor growth. Current Cancer Drug Targets, 12 (1), 64-73.

Abstract

Tumor-specific delivery of ligand-directed prodrugs can increase the therapeutic window of chemotherapeutics by maintaining efficacy whilst decreasing toxic side effects. We have previously described a series of synthetic N-alkylated isatin cytotoxins that destabilize microtubules and induce apoptosis with 10-fold greater potency than conventional anti-mitotics in vitro. Here, we report the characterization, in vitro cytotoxicity and in vivo efficacy of a lead compound, 5,7-dibromo-N-(p-hydroxymethylbenzyl)isatin (N-AI) conjugated via an esterase-labile linker (N-AIE) to two proven targeting ligands, transferrin (Tf) and plasminogen activator inhibitor type 2 (PAI-2/serpinB2). N-AI was released from N-AIE and the targeting ligands Tf/PAI-2 in an esterase-dependent manner at 37 °C and both Tf- and PAI-2-N-AIE conjugates were stable at physiological pH. Human cancer cell lines which vary in their expression levels of Tf receptor (TfR/CD71) and PAI-2 target, receptor bound urokinase (uPA) selectively internalized the conjugates. Tf-N-AIE was up to 24 times more active than the free drug and showed clear selectivity patterns based on TfR levels. PAI-2-N-AIE showed equivalent activity compared to the parent drug and strong selectivity patterns for uPA levels. In preliminary in vivo experiments, the PAI-2- and Tf-N-AIE conjugates were efficacious at 1/20th and 1/10th of the dose of the free N-AI, respectively, in a metastatic, orthotopic human breast tumor xenograft mouse model. Thus, this strategy specifically delivers and concentrates a novel class of isatin-based, tubulin destabilizing agents to tumors in vivo and warrants further detailed preclinical investigation.

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Link to publisher version (DOI)

http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/156800912798888983