J Cancer 2018; 9(4):674-682. doi:10.7150/jca.22277

Research Paper

An arginine-rich cell penetrating peptide contained anti-gelatinase scFv-LDM fusion protein shows potent antitumor efficacy in pancreatic cancer

Genshen Zhong1,2✉*, Zhishan Xu2*, Ru Yang2, Shenghua Zhang3, Liang Li3, Minna Wu4, Hongtao Liu5✉, Yongsu Zhen3

1. Henan Collaborative Innovation Center of Molecular Diagnosis and Laboratory Medicine, School of Laboratory Medicine, Xinxiang Medical University, Xinxiang, 453003, Henan Province, China.
2. Laboratory of Cancer Biotherapy, Institute of Neurology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xinxiang Medical University, Xinxiang 453100, Henan Province, China.
3. Institute of Medicinal Biotechnology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100850, China.
4. College of Basic Medicine, Xinxiang Medical University, Xinxiang 450003, Henan, China.
5. Department of Biochemistry, College of Basic Medicine, Hubei University of Chinese Medicine, Wuhan 430065, Hubei province, China
* Contributed equally in this work.


Pancreatic cancer (PC) is one of the most dangerous cancers with less than 5% survival rate in 5 years. This study was to evaluate the antitumor activities of dFv-LDP-AE and dFv-R-LDP-AE, two energized fusion protein targeting gelatinases, on pancreatic cancer. The fusion protein dFv-LDP-AE consists of two tandem anti-gelatianses scFv and an enediyne antibiotic lidamycin (LDM) for receptor binding and cell killing. To improve the penetration capability, the fusion protein dFv-LDP-AE was integrated with an arginine-rich cell penetrating peptide (Arg)9 and then generated the fusion protein dFv-R-LDP-AE. The current study demonstrated that dFv-LDP and dFv-R-LDP had high affinity with the antigen gelatinases and PC cells, the integration of (Arg)9 could increase the penetration rate of fusion protein in SW-1990 and PANC-1 cells. After enediyne-energized with chromophore of lidamycin, the energized fusion protein dFv-LDP-AE and dFv-R-LDP-AE showed potent cytotoxicity to PC cells and could induced the robust cell apoptosis and necrosis in vitro. Western blot showed that dFv-R-LDP-AE could increase PARP cleavage, and inhibited the expression of VEGF, Cyclin D1, Cox-2 and Bcl-2 in SW-1990 and PANC-1 cells. In vivo, at a tolerated dosage, dFv-LDP, dFv-LDP-AE and dFv-R-LDP-AE inhibited tumor growth by 20.42%, 56.31% (P < 0.01, compared to that of control) and 74.2% (P < 0.05, compared to that of dFv-LDP-AE) in pancreatic cancer SW-1990 xenografted mice, respectively. Moreover, the results of in vivo optical imaging showed that fusion protein dFv-R-LDP displayed prominent accumulation in the tumor in SW-1990 xenografted mice and Capan-2 orthotopic transplanted mice. These results showed that dFv-R-LDP-AE possessed potent antitumor efficacy on PC, which indicating it could be a promising candidate for targeting therapy of PC.

Keywords: Pancreatic cancer, gelatianse, lidamycin, arginine-rich cell penetrating peptide, optical imaging

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How to cite this article:
Zhong G, Xu Z, Yang R, Zhang S, Li L, Wu M, Liu H, Zhen Y. An arginine-rich cell penetrating peptide contained anti-gelatinase scFv-LDM fusion protein shows potent antitumor efficacy in pancreatic cancer. J Cancer 2018; 9(4):674-682. doi:10.7150/jca.22277. Available from http://www.jcancer.org/v09p0674.htm