Because membrane type-1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) is expressed specifically on the angiogenic endothelium as well as tumor cells, an agent possessing the ability to bind to this molecule might be useful as a tool for active targeting of tumor angiogenic vessels. Based on the sequences of peptide substrates of MT1-MMP, which had been determined by using a phage-displayed peptide library, we examined the binding ability of peptide-modified liposomes for endothelial cells and targeting ability for tumor tissues by positron emission tomography (PET). Liposomes modified with stearoyl-Gly-Pro-Leu-Pro-Leu-Arg (GPLPLR-Lip) showed high binding ability to human umbilical vein endothelial cells and accumulated in the tumor about 4-fold more than did the unmodified liposomes. Because we reported previously that liposomalized 5'-O-dipalmitoylphosphatidyl 2'-C-cyano-2'-deoxy-1-beta-D-arabino-pentofuranosylcytosine (DPP-CNDAC), a hydrophobized derivative of the novel antitumor nucleoside CNDAC, strongly suppressed tumor growth when delivered in liposomes modified with another angiogenic homing peptide, we examined the antitumor activity of DPP-CNDAC entrapped in GPLPLR-Lip. DPP-CNDAC/GPLPLR-Lip showed significant tumor growth suppression compared to DPP-CNDAC/unmodified liposomes. These results suggest that DPP-CNDAC-liposomes modified with MT1-MMP-targeted peptide are useful for cancer anti-neovascular therapy (ANET), namely, tumor growth suppression by damage to angiogenic endothelial cells.
Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.