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The alkylating prodrug J1 can be activated by aminopeptidase N, leading to a possible target directed release of melphalan
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Clinical Pharmacology. (Cancer pharmacology and informatics)
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2010 (English)In: Biochemical Pharmacology, ISSN 0006-2952, E-ISSN 1873-2968, Vol. 79, no 9, 1281-1290 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The alkylating prodrug of melphalan, J1 (melphalanyl-l-p-fluorophenylalanyl ethyl ester) is currently in early clinical trials. Preclinical studies have shown that J1-mediated cytotoxicity is dependent on hydrolytic activity of tumor cells. In this report we have analyzed potential peptidases and esterases of importance for release of free melphalan from J1. Exposure of tumor cell lines to J1 resulted in a significant increased level of free intracellular melphalan, at least tenfold at Cmax, compared to exposure to melphalan at the same molar concentration. This efficient intracellular delivery could be inhibited in both magnitude and in time by bestatin, a broad spectrum inhibitor of the aminopeptidases, including the metalloproteinase aminopeptidase N (APN, EC, and ebelactone A, an esterase inhibitor. These effects resulted, as expected, in decreased cytotoxic effects of J1. A specific role of APN in hydrolyzing J1 releasing free melphalan was demonstrated in vitro with pure APN enzyme. By using plasmid-based overexpression of APN or down regulation of endogenous APN with siRNA in different tumor cell lines we here confirm the involvement of APN in J1-mediated cytotoxic and apoptotic signaling. In conclusion, this study demonstrates a role of APN in the activation of the melphalan prodrug J1 and subsequently, its cytotoxicity. Given that APN is shown to be overexpressed in several solid tumors our data suggest that J1 may be activated in a tumor selective manner.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 79, no 9, 1281-1290 p.
Keyword [en]
J1, Aminopeptidase N, Esterases, Prodrug, Cancer therapeutics, Alkylating agents
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-125011DOI: 10.1016/j.bcp.2009.12.022ISI: 000275681900008PubMedID: 20067771OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-125011DiVA: diva2:318272
Available from: 2010-05-07 Created: 2010-05-07 Last updated: 2012-03-14Bibliographically approved

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