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Future Med Chem. 2012 Aug;4(12):1601-18. doi: 10.4155/fmc.12.75.

Flexible or fixed: a comparative review of linear and cyclic cancer-targeting peptides.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Toronto, TMDT 5-363, 101 College Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5G 1L7, Canada.


Peptides can serve as versatile cancer-targeting ligands and have been used for clinically relevant applications such as cancer imaging and therapy. A current and long-standing focus within peptide research is the creation of structurally constrained peptides generated through cyclization. Cyclization is envisioned to enhance the selective binding, uptake, potency and stability of linear precursors. This review compares closely related linear and cyclic peptides in these respects. Peptide cyclization generally improves the selective binding and stability of linear precursors; however, not all cyclization strategies and constrained geometries enhance these properties to the same extent. In some instances, linear analogues actually have better cancer-targeting properties compared with their cyclic counterparts. Although cyclization does not necessarily improve the cancer-targeting properties of linear analogues, cyclic peptides may obtain properties that allow them to be used for additional applications. This review aims to convey the advantages and limitations of cyclic cancer-targeting peptides.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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