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Eur J Pharmacol. 2014 Jul 5;734:50-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2014.04.001. Epub 2014 Apr 13.

13F-1, a novel 5-fluorouracil prodrug containing an Asn-Gly-Arg (NO2) COOCH3 tripeptide, inhibits human colonic carcinoma growth by targeting Aminopeptidase N (APN/CD13).

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  • 1Evaluation Center for Food and Drug, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.
  • 2Department of Pharmacy, Affiliated Hospital, Tan Shan Medical University, Tanan, China.
  • 3School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Shandong University, Jinan, China.
  • 4Department of Pharmacology, School of Chemical Biology & Pharmaceutical Sciences, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100069, China. Electronic address:


13F-1 is a 5-fluorouracil prodrug containing an Asn-Gly-Arg (NO2) COOCH3 tripeptide. 13F-1 might possess the activity against cancer growth by targeting Aminopeptidase N (APN/CD13). Our goal in this study was to evaluate the inhibitory effect of 13F-1 on the growth of human colonic carcinoma by both in vitro and in vivo studies. Experiments were performed in colonic carcinoma Colo205 cells, which highly express APN/CD13 on cell surface. The inhibition of 13F-1 on cancer cell growth was estimated by the colorimetric and clonogenic assays. The assays of Annexin V-FITC/PI and JC-1 fluorescence probe were employed to determine the apoptotic cells. Further experiment was performed in mice bearing Colo205 xenografts. 13F-1 was injected for three consecutive weeks. The specimens of Colo205 xenografts were removed for TUNEL staining and western blotting analysis. The expressions of APN/CD13 were analyzed by immunofluorescent flow cytometry and western blotting assays. 13F-1 significantly inhibited Colo205 cell proliferation. 13F-1 by injection delayed the expansion of Colo205 xenografts without significant toxicity to mice. The inhibitory effect of 13F-1 might arise from its role in apoptotic induction. Further analysis indicated that 13F-1 strongly inhibited APN/CD13 expression on cancer cell surface. In contrast, 5-FU did not affect APN/CD13 expression. These results indicated the mechanism of 13F-1 action that 13F-1׳s effect was associated with its role in suppression of APN/CD13 expression. Conclusion, 13F-1 could be developed as a promising agent for treatment of cancers with high expression of APN/CD13.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


5-Fluorouracil; Aminopeptidase N (APN/CD13); Apoptosis; Asparagine–glycine–arginine (NGR); Colon cancer

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