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Copyright © 2019 American Chemical Society. A series of five boron dipyrromethene (BODIPY) bioconjugates containing an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-targeted pegylated LARLLT peptide and/or a glucose or biotin ethylene diamine group were synthesized, and the binding capability of the new conjugates to the extracellular domain of EGFR was investigated using molecular modeling, surface plasmon resonance, fluorescence microscopy, competitive binding assays, and animal studies. The BODIPY conjugates with a LARLLT peptide were found to bind specifically to EGFR, whereas those lacking the peptide bound weakly and nonspecifically. All BODIPY conjugates showed low cytotoxicity (IC50 > 94 μM) in HT-29 cells, both in the dark and upon light activation (1.5 J/cm2). Studies of nude mice bearing subcutaneous human HT-29 xenografts revealed that only BODIPY conjugates bearing the LARLLT peptide showed tumor localization 24 h after intravenous administration. The results of our studies demonstrate that BODIPY bioconjugates bearing the EGFR-targeting peptide 3PEG-LARLLT show promise as near-IR fluorescent imaging agents for colon cancers overexpressing EGFR.

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Journal of Medicinal Chemistry

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