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J Control Release. 2010 Dec 20;148(3):317-26. doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2010.09.014. Epub 2010 Sep 30.

High antiangiogenic and low anticoagulant efficacy of orally active low molecular weight heparin derivatives.

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  • 1College of Pharmacy, Seoul National University, 599 Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 151-742, South Korea.


Heparin, an anticoagulant that is widely used clinically, is also known to bind to several kinds of proteins through electrostatic interactions because of its polyanionic character. These interactions are mediated by the physicochemical properties of heparin such as sequence composition, sulfation patterns, charge distribution, overall charge density, and molecular size. Although this electrostatic character mediates its binding to many proteins related with tumor progression, thereby providing its antiangiogenic property, the administration of heparin for treating cancer is limited in clinical applications due to several drawbacks, such as its low oral absorption, unsatisfactory therapeutic effects, and strong anticoagulant activity which induces hemorrhaging. Here, we evaluated novel, orally active, low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) derivatives (LHD) conjugated with deoxycholic acid (DOCA) that show reduced anticoagulant activity and enhanced antiangiogenic activity. The chemical conjugate of LMWH and DOCA was synthesized by conjugating the amine group of N-deoxycholylethylamine (EtDOCA) with the carboxylic groups of heparin at various DOCA conjugation ratios. The LMWH-DOCA conjugate series (LHD1, LHD1.5, LHD2, and LHD4) were further formulated with poloxamer 407 as a solubilizer for oral administration. An in vitro endothelial tubular formation and in vivo Matrigel plug assay were performed to verify the antiangiogenic potential of LHD. Finally, we evaluated tumor growth inhibition of oral LHD administration in a SCC7 model as well as in A549 human cancer cell lines in a mouse xenograft model. Increasing DOCA conjugation ratios showed decreased anticoagulant activity, eventually to zero. LHD could block angiogenesis in the tubular formation assay and the Matrigel plug assay. In particular, oral administration of LHD4, which has 4 molecules of DOCA per mole of LMWH, inhibited tumor growth in SCC7 mice model as well as A549 mice xenograft model. LHD4 was orally absorbable, showed minimal anticoagulant activity and inhibits tumor growth via antiangiogenesis. These findings demonstrate the therapeutic potential of LHD4 as a new oral anti-cancer drug.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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