Amphipathic tail-anchoring peptide is a promising therapeutic agent for prostate cancer treatment
De, G.; Ko, J.-K.; Tan, T.; Zhu, H.; Li, H.; Ma, J.
Oncotarget 5(17): 7734-7747
Amphipathic tail-anchoring peptide (ATAP) derived from the human anti-apoptotic protein Bfl-1 is a potent inducer of apoptosis by targeting mitochondria permeability transition. By linking ATAP to an internalizing RGD peptide (iRGD), selective targeting for ATAP to tumor cell was achieved. Confocal fluorescence microscopy showed that ATAP-iRGD could penetrate into cancer cells and distribute along the mitochondria network. ATAP-iRGD triggered mitochondria-dependent cell death through release of cytochrome c. In an effort to promote ATAP-iRGD physiochemical properties to approach clinic application, amino acid substitution and chemical modification were made with ATAP-iRGD to improve its bioactivity. One of these modified peptides, ATAP-iRGD-M8, was with improved stability and aqueous solubility without compromising in vitro cytotoxicity in cultured cancer cells. In vivo xenograft studies with multiple prostate cancer cell lines showed that intravenous administration of ATAP-iRGD-M8 suppressed tumor growth. Toxicological studies revealed that repetitive intravenous administration of ATAP-iRGD-M8 did not produce significant toxicity in the SV129 mice. Our data suggest that ATAP-iRGD-M8 is a promising agent with high selectivity and limited systemic toxicity for prostate cancer treatment.