Background: Targeted therapies for cancer, especially the malignant cancer, are always restricted by the deficiency of tumor-specific drug delivery methods. Subtilase cytotoxic is a virulent cytotoxin, and the subunit A (SubA) of it is able to destroy the structure of glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78) to induce cell apoptosis, and to be expected as anti-cancer drugs, however, the ubiquitous receptor of subunit B of Subtilase cytotoxic (SubB) restricts its application on cancer therapy.
Results: The present study constructed and expressed a fusion protein of GBP-SubA in E. coli Rosetta (DE3) system, in which the subunit B of Subtilase cytotoxic was replaced by GRP78 binding peptide (GBP). The fusion protein was expressed in inclusion body form. Subsequently, the denaturation/renaturation process and Ni-column purification were performed. Our data indicated the purified GBP-SubA could bind GRP78 existed on cancer cell surface specifically, internalize into cells to inactivate intracellular GRP78 and induce apoptosis. Moreover, the apoptosis induction effect of GBP-SubA was enhanced obviously along with the increased cancer cell surface GBP78.
Conclusions: It indicates that the recombinant GBP-SubA possesses the dual functions of GBP and SubA to induce cancer cell apoptosis specifically, revealing that GBP-SubA holds important implications for developing as an anti-cancer peptide drug. A schematic representation of the construction and function of GBP-SubA.
Keywords: Apoptosis; Cancer; GRP78 binding peptide; Glucose-regulated protein 78; Subunit A of Subtilase cytotoxic.