Targeting PEPT1: a novel strategy to improve the antitumor efficacy of Doxorubicin in human Hepatocellular carcinoma therapy.

Research paper by Yanxia Y Gong, Xiang X Wu, Tao T Wang, Jia J Zhao, Xi X Liu, Zhi Z Yao, Qingyu Q Zhang, Xu X Jian

Indexed on: 04 May '17Published on: 04 May '17Published in: Oncotarget


Proton coupled oligopeptide transporter 1 (PEPT1) is a member of the peptide transporter superfamily and plays important role in the absorption of oligopeptide and peptidomimetic drugs. Our previous research verified that PEPT1 expressed specifically in human Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tissue and cell lines and showed potential transport activity to be a new candidate of the tumor therapeutic target. In this study, we aim to explore the feasibility of a novel tumor target therapeutic strategy: Targeting PEPT1 to improve the antitumor efficacy of Doxorubicin in human HCC therapy. First, Doxorubicin was conjugated with Glycylglycylglycine (Gly-Gly-Gly) - a tripeptide which was known as the substrate of PEPT1 and characterized by HPLC and MS successfully. Doxorubicin-tripeptide conjugate was then observed to clarify the target delivery by PEPT1 and the antitumor effect on human hepatocarcinoma in vivo and in vitro. Furthermore, the improvement of the toxic and side effect of Doxorubicin after conjugation was also evaluated by some biochemical tests. Our results reveal that targeting PEPT1 may contribute to the efficient delivery of Doxorubicin to hepatocarcinoma cells and the reduction of drug toxicity. PEPT1 has the prospect to be a novel target of HCC therapy.