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Peptides. 2008 Nov;29(11):1965-73. doi: 10.1016/j.peptides.2008.06.021. Epub 2008 Jul 5.

Matrix metalloprotease selective peptide substrates cleavage within hydrogel matrices for cancer chemotherapy activation.

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The University of Illinois, Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.


To utilize biologic mechanisms to elicit controlled release in response to disease, protease-sensitive devices have been created. Hydrogels were created with pendant peptide-drug complexes. For the matrix metalloproteases (MMPs) examined, a length of six amino acids greatly improved the specificity of the peptide (k(cat)/K(m) approximately 2.4+/-0.1x10(4)M(-1)s(-1)) over shorter sequences (k(cat)/K(m) approximately 4.4+/-0.2x10(2)M(-1)s(-1)). The peptides did not exhibit anti-proliferative effects upon cancer cells, and peptide-platinum complexes showed similar anti-proliferative effects upon the cancer cells compared to the free platinum drugs. Once the peptide-drug complex was incorporated into the hydrogels, the release was dependent upon the presence of MMP in the solution with approximately 35% of platinum released from hydrogels in the presence of MMP and only 10% without MMP in the week examined. The released drug exhibited the expected anti-proliferative activity over several days of incubation. The MMP selective drug delivery holds much potential for treatment of cancer and other diseases.

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