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Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Short-chain analogs of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone containing cytotoxic moieties.


PMID 1332035

Abstract

Five hexapeptide and heptapeptide analogs of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH) were synthesized for use as carriers for cytotoxic compounds. These short analogs were expected to enhance target selectivity of the antineoplastic agents linked to them. Native LH-RH-(3-9) and LH-RH-(4-9) containing D-lysine and D-ornithine at position 6 were amidated with ethylamine and acylated on the N terminus. The receptor-binding affinity of one hexapeptide carrier AJ-41 (Ac-Ser-Tyr-D-Lys-Leu-Arg-Pro-NH-Et) to human breast cancer cell membranes was similar to that of [D-Trp6]LH-RH. Alkylating nitrogen mustards (melphalan, Ac-melphalan), anthraquinone derivatives including anticancer antibiotic doxorubicin, antimetabolite (methotrexate), and cisplatin-like platinum complex were linked to these peptides through their omega-amino group at position 6. The hybrid molecules showed no LH-RH agonistic activity in vitro and in vivo but had nontypical antagonistic effects on pituitary cells in vitro at the doses tested. These analogs showed a wide range of receptor-binding affinities to rat pituitaries and cell membranes of human breast cancer and rat Dunning prostate cancer. Several of these conjugates exerted some cytotoxic effects on MCF-7 breast cancer cell line.

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C15H10O3