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Liposomes derivatized with multimeric copies of KCCYSL peptide as targeting agents for HER-2-overexpressing tumor cells

Authors Ringhieri P, Mannucci S, Conti G, Nicolato E, Fracasso G, Marzola P, Morelli G, Accardo A

Received 26 May 2016

Accepted for publication 29 September 2016

Published 13 January 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 501—514


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas Webster

Paola Ringhieri,1 Silvia Mannucci,2 Giamaica Conti,2 Elena Nicolato,2 Giulio Fracasso,3 Pasquina Marzola,4 Giancarlo Morelli,1 Antonella Accardo1

1Department of Pharmacy and Interuniversity Research Centre on Bioactive Peptides (CIRPeB), University of Naples “Federico II”, Napoli, 2Department of Neurological Biomedical and Movement Sciences, 3Section of Immunology, Department of Medicine, 4Department of Informatics, University of Verona, Verona, Italy

Abstract: Mixed liposomes, obtained by coaggregation of 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine and of the synthetic monomer containing a gadolinium complex ([C18]2DTPA[Gd]) have been prepared. Liposomes externally decorated with KCCYSL (P6.1 peptide) sequence in its monomeric, dimeric, and tetrameric forms are studied as target-selective delivery systems toward cancer cells overexpressing human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER-2) receptors. Derivatization of liposomal surface with targeting peptides is achieved using the postmodification method: the alkyne-peptide derivative Pra-KCCYSL reacts, through click chemistry procedures, with a synthetic surfactant modified with 1, 2, or 4 azido moieties previously inserted in liposome formulation. Preliminary in vitro data on MDA-MB-231 and BT-474 cells indicated that liposomes functionalized with P6.1 peptide in its tetrameric form had better binding to and uptake into BT-474 cells compared to liposomes decorated with monomeric or dimeric versions of the P6.1 peptide. BT-474 cells treated with liposomes functionalized with the tetrameric form of P6.1 showed high degree of liposome uptake, which was comparable with the uptake of anti-HER-2 antibodies such as Herceptin. Moreover, magnetic MRI experiments have demonstrated the potential of liposomes to act as MRI contrast agents.

Keywords: anti-HER2 liposomes, target peptide, KCCYSL peptide, breast cancer, click chemistry, branched peptides

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