A Dimeric Peptide That Binds Selectively to Prostate-Specific Membrane Antigen and Inhibits its Enzymatic Activity

Saurabh Aggarwal, Pratap Singh, Ozlem Topaloglu, John T. Isaacs, Samuel R. Denmeade
2006 Cancer Research  
Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) is highly expressed by both normal and malignant prostate epithelial cells and by the neovasculature of many tumor types; however, it is not expressed by normal endothelial cells or other normal tissues. PSMA, therefore, represents an attractive candidate for selectively targeted therapies for prostate and/or other solid tumors. As an alternative approach to antibody-based anti-PSMA therapies, small peptides that bind selectively to PSMA-producing cells
more » ... SMA-producing cells can be used to deliver cytotoxic drugs, protein toxins, and viruses selectively to malignant sites while minimizing systemic toxicity to normal tissues. Small peptides are relatively inexpensive to produce, not immunogenic, and easily coupled to cytotoxic agents. In the present study, a random phage library consisting of linear 12 amino acid peptides was used to identify peptides that bound selectively to PSMA. From a series of monomeric peptides, one with the sequence WQPDTAHHWATL was used to show binding of soluble peptide to PSMA. A dimeric version of this peptide showed markedly enhanced binding to soluble PSMA and an IC 50 of 2.2 Mmol/L for inhibition of PSMA enzymatic activity. Fluorescently labeled dimeric peptide bound selectively to PSMA-producing prostate cancer cells in vitro with no significant binding to non-PSMA-producing cells. Molecular modeling of the dimeric peptide revealed that histidine residues in close vicinity can efficiently coordinate a divalent ion and hold the peptide in a favorable configuration for binding and subsequent inhibition. These dimeric peptides, therefore, represent putative PSMA-selective targeting agents that are currently being evaluated for selective binding in vivo. (Cancer Res 2006; 66(18): 9171-7) Requests for reprints: Samuel R. Denmeade,
doi:10.1158/0008-5472.can-06-1520 pmid:16982760 fatcat:svg75kuzrnaidlenonzeg4jqhq