J Cancer 2015; 6(7):658-670. doi:10.7150/jca.11647

Research Paper

Galactose as Broad Ligand for Multiple Tumor Imaging and Therapy

Yuxiang Ma, Haiyan Chen, Shanyuhan Su, Tong Wang, Congying Zhang, Guissi Fida, Sisi Cui, Juan Zhao, Yueqing Gu

Department of Biomedical Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Natural Medicines and School of Life Science and Technology, China Pharmaceutical University, 24 Tongjia Lane, Gulou District, Nanjing 210009, China


Galactose residues could be specifically recognized by the asialoglycoprotein receptor (ASGPR) which is highly exhibited on liver tissues. However, ASGPR has not been widely investigated on different tumor cell lines except for hepatoma carcinoma cells, which motivates us to investigate the possibility of galactose serving as a board tumor ligand.

In this study, a galactose (Gal)-based probe conjugated with fluorescence dye MPA (Gal-MPA) was constructed for the evaluation of tumor affinities/targeted ability on different tumor cell lines. In the vitro cell study, it was indicated that the fluorescence probe Gal-MPA displayed higher cell affinity to tumor cells (HepG2, MCF-7 and A549) than that of the normal liver cells l02. In the vivo dynamic study of Gal-MPA in tumor-bearing mice (HepG2, MCF-7, A549, HCT116, U87, MDA-MB-231 and S180), it was shown that its high tumor targeted ability with the maximal tumor/normal tissue ratio reached up to 6.8. Meanwhile, the fast tumor-targeted ability within 2 hours and long retention on tumor site up to 120 hours were observed. Our results demonstrated that galactose should be a promising broad ligand for multiple tumor imaging and targeted therapy.

Subsequently, Gal was covalently conjugated to doxorubicin (DOX) to form prodrug Gal-DOX for tumor targeted therapy. The therapeutic results of Gal-DOX than DOX being better suggested that galactosylated prodrugs might have the prospective potential in tumor targeted therapy.

Keywords: Asialoglycoprotein receptor (ASGPR), broad ligand, multiple tumor imaging, multiple tumor targeted therapy, galactosylated, Near-infrared (NIR)

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How to cite this article:
Ma Y, Chen H, Su S, Wang T, Zhang C, Fida G, Cui S, Zhao J, Gu Y. Galactose as Broad Ligand for Multiple Tumor Imaging and Therapy. J Cancer 2015; 6(7):658-670. doi:10.7150/jca.11647. Available from http://www.jcancer.org/v06p0658.htm