Destruction of breast cancers and their metastases by lytic peptide conjugates in vitro and in vivo

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In a series of in vivo and in vitro experiments, the concept has been established that breast cancer cells that express LH/CG or LHRH receptors can be targeted and destroyed by constructs consisting of a lytic peptide moiety and a 15-amino acid segment of the β-chain of CG or by an LHRH lytic peptide conjugate. Data obtained in vitro established the validity of this concept, showed the specificities of the Hecate-βCG, and Phor14 and Phor21-βCG conjugates in killing cells that express functional LH/CG receptors and proved that the LH/CG receptor capacity is directly related to the compound's specificity. In in vivo experiments, Hecate-βCG, Phor14-βCG, and Phor21-βCG(ala) each caused highly significant reductions of tumor volume and tumor burden in nude mice bearing breast cancer xenografts; Hecate and Phor21 alone or conjugated with non-specific peptides were not effective. Most importantly, the lytic peptide conjugates were all highly effective in targeting and destroying disseminated breast cancer metastases in lymph nodes, bones, lungs and other organs. © 2006 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology

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