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Eur J Cancer. 2000 May;36(7):942-9.

Antitumour activity of cytotoxic liposomes equipped with selectin ligand SiaLe(X), in a mouse mammary adenocarcinoma model.

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Shemyakin-Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Miklukho-Maklaya 16/10, Moscow, Russia.


The overexpression of lectins by malignant cells compared with normal ones can be used for the targeting of drug-loaded liposomes to tumours with the help of specific carbohydrate ligands (vectors). Recently we have shown that liposomes bearing specific lipid-anchored glycoconjugates on a polymeric matrix bind in vitro to human malignant cells more effectively and, being loaded with a lipophilic prodrug of merphalan, reveal higher cytotoxic activity compared with unvectored liposomes. In this study, carbohydrate-equipped cytotoxic liposomes were tested in vivo in a mouse breast cancer model, BLRB-Rb (8.17)1Iem strain with a high incidence of spontaneous mammary adenocarcinoma (SMA). Firstly, a cell line of the SMA was established which was then used to determine the specificity of the tumour cell lectins. After screening of the lectin specificity of a number of fluorescent carbohydrate probes, SiaLe(X) was shown to be the ligand with the most affinity, and a lipophilic vector bearing this saccharide was synthesised. Then different liposomal formulations of the synthetic merphalan lipid derivative and SiaLe(X) vector were prepared and applied in the treatment of mice with grafted adenocarcinomas. The results of the tumorigenesis data show that the therapeutic efficacy of merphalan increases sharply after its insertion as a lipophilic prodrug into the membrane of SiaLe(X)-vectored liposomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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