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J Biol Chem. 2002 Nov 8;277(45):43137-42. Epub 2002 Aug 14.

A novel peptide isolated from a phage display library inhibits tumor growth and metastasis by blocking the binding of vascular endothelial growth factor to its kinase domain receptor.

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Beijing Institute for Cancer Research, Peking University School of Oncology, 1 Da-Hong-Luo-Chang Street, Western District, Beijing 100034, China.


Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), one of the most important angiogenic factors, plays an essential role in both physiological and pathological angiogenesis. The VEGF receptor KDR/Flk-1 (a kinase domain receptor) mediates various biological activities of VEGF related to proliferation, differentiation, and migration of endothelial cells. Here we present a novel peptide designated K237-(HTMYYHHYQHHL), which was isolated from a phage-displayed peptide library, binding to KDR with high affinity and specificity. By interfering with the VEGF-KDR interaction, the peptide K237 inhibited proliferation of cultured primary human umbilical vein endothelial cells induced by recombinant human VEGF(165) in a dose-dependent and cell type-specific manner. The peptide also exerted an anti-angiogenesis activity in vivo as revealed using the chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane angiogenesis assay. Moreover, the peptide K237 significantly inhibited the growth of solid tumors implanted beneath the breasts and their metastases to lungs in severe combined immunodeficient mice. Taken together, these findings suggest that the peptide K237 can functionally disrupt the interaction between VEGF and the KDR receptor and cause potent biological effects that include the inhibition of angiogenesis and tumor growth. As a consequence, this peptide (and its future derivatives) may have use as a potential cancer therapy.

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