Journal of peptide science : an official publication of the European Peptide Society

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor-targeted paclitaxel-degarelix conjugate: synthesis and in vitro evaluation.

PMID 25851250


To increase the selectivity of chemotherapeutic agents, receptor-mediated tumor-targeting approaches have been developed. Here, degarelix [Ac-D-Nal-D-Cpa-D-Pal-Ser-Aph(L-Hor)-D-Aph(Cbm)-Leu-ILys-Pro-D-Ala-NH2], a gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonist, was employed as a targeting moiety for paclitaxel (PTX). Five PTX-degarelix conjugates were synthesized, in which PTX was attached via disulfide bond to the different position in the degarelix sequence. All of the PTX-degarelix conjugates exhibited a half-life greater than 10 h determined in human serum. A fluorometric imaging plate reader assay showed that the conjugates LK-MY-9 and LK-MY-10 had an antagonism efficacy similar to that of degarelix. The in vitro cytostatic effects of the conjugates were determined by a (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium) (MTS) assay, and the 50% inhibitory concentration value of the conjugates on 3T3 mouse embryonic fibroblast cells were one order of magnitude higher than the 50% inhibitory concentration values of the conjugates on MCF-7 human breast cancer cells and HT-29 human colon cancer cells. Receptor saturation tests further demonstrated that pre-incubation of the cells with degarelix reduced the efficacy of LK-MY-10 in a concentration-dependent manner. In conclusion, degarelix is a valid and stable moiety that has great potential for targeting chemotherapy drugs.