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Improved pharmacokinetic and biodistribution properties of the selective urokinase inhibitor PAI-2 (SerpinB2) by site-specific PEGylation: implications for drug delivery.

Pharmaceutical research (2014-09-19)
Kara Lea Vine, Sergei Lobov, Vineesh Indira Chandran, Nathanial Lachlan Ewart Harris, Marie Ranson
ABSTRACT

Overexpression of the serine protease urokinase (uPA) is recognised as an important biomarker of metastatic disease and a druggable anticancer target. Plasminogen activator inhibitor type-2 (PAI-2/SerpinB2) is a specific uPA inhibitor with proven potential for use in targeted therapy. However, PAI-2 is rapidly cleared via the renal system which impairs tumor uptake and efficacy. Here we aimed to improve the pharmacological properties of PAI-2 by site-specific PEGylation. Several cysteine to serine substitution mutants were generated for PEGylation with PEG-maleimide (size range 12-30 kDa) and the physico-chemical and biochemical properties of the PEG-PAI-2 conjugates characterised. Radiolabeled proteins were used for evaluation of blood clearance and tissue uptake profiles in an orthotopic breast tumor xenograft mouse model. PEGylation of the PAI-2(C161S) mutant gave a predominant mono-PEGylated-PAI-2 product (~90%) with full uPA inhibitory activity, despite a significant increase in hydrodynamic radius. Compared to un-PEGylated protein the plasma half-life and AUC for PEG20-PAI-2(C161S) were significantly increased. This translated to a 10-fold increase in tumor retention after 24 h compared to PAI-2(C161S), an effect not seen in non-target organs. Our data underscores the potential for PEG20-PAI-2(C161S) drug conjugates to be further developed as anti-uPA targeted therapeutics with enhanced tumor retention.

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