The design, preparation, as well as structural and functional characterizations of the recombinant fusion protein hVEGF-EGF as a dual-functional agent that may target both EGFR (R: receptor) and angiogenesis are reported. hVEGF-EGF was found to bind to EGFR more strongly than did EGF, and to bind to VEGFR similarly to VEGF. Mass spectrometry measurements showed that the sites of DTPA (diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid) conjugated hVEGF-EGF (for radiolabeling) were the same as those of its parent hEGF and hVEGF proteins. All DTPA-conjugated proteins retained similar binding capacities to their respective receptors as compared to their respective parent proteins. In vitro cell binding studies using BAEC (a bovine aortic endothelial cell) and MDA-MB-231 (a human breast cancer) cells expressing both EGFR and VEGFR confirmed similar results. Treating BAEC cells with hVEGF-EGF induced remarkable phosphorylation of EGFR, VEGFR, and their downstream targets ERK1/2. Nevertheless, the radiolabeled 111In-DTPA-hVEGF-EGF showed cytotoxicity against MDA-MB-231 cells. Pharmacokinetic studies using 111In-DTPA-hVEGF-EGF in BALB/c nude mice showed that appreciable tracer activities were accumulated in liver and spleen. In all, this study demonstrated that the fusion protein hVEGF-EGF maintained the biological specificity toward both EGFR and VEGFR and may be a potential candidate as a dual-targeting moiety in developing anticancer drugs.
|Number of pages||16|
|State||Published - 16 Dec 2015|