Pharmacological control of the angiogenic process (i.e., the neovascularization necessary for the growth and progression of tumors and metastases) is considered to be one of the most promising approaches to antineoplastic therapy. Endostatin, a 20-kDa protein derived from collagen XVIII, is one of the first recently discovered endogeneous antiangiogenic substances, but its cell targets and mechanism(s) of action are still unknown. We thought it would be interesting to test whether shorter peptides derived from endostatin might preserve its antiangiogenic activity. Four synthetic peptides corresponding to the sequences 6-49 (I), 50-92 (II), 93-133 (III), and 134-178 (IV) of human endostatin were tested for their ability to inhibit endothelial cell proliferation, migration, and both in vitro and in vivo angiogenesis. Fragment I (and fragment IV in the tests performed) was found to be fully biologically active in all of the angiogenesis assays, and sometimes showed even greater potency and efficacy than full-length human endostatin itself.
Copyright 2003 Elsevier Science (USA)