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Am J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2014 Aug 15;4(5):435-47. eCollection 2014.

Development of a peptide by phage display for SPECT imaging of resistance-susceptible breast cancer.

Author information

1
Research Services, Harry S. Truman Veterans Affairs Hospital Columbia, MO ; Department of Biochemistry, University of Missouri Columbia, MO.

Abstract

Personalized medicine is at the forefront of cancer diagnosis and therapy. Molecularly targeted therapies such as trastuzumab and tamoxifen have enhanced prognosis of patients with cancers expressing ERBB2 and the estrogen receptor, respectively. One obstacle to targeted therapy is the development of resistance. A targeted peptide that could distinguish resistance-susceptible cancer would aid in treatment. BT-474 human breast cancer cells can be resistant to both tamoxifen and trastuzumab, and may serve as a model for malignancies in which targeted therapy may not work. Bacteriophage (phage) display is a combinatorial technology that has been used to isolate peptides that target a specific cancer subtype. It was hypothesized that in vivo phage display could be used to select a peptide for SPECT imaging of BT-474 human breast cancer xenografts. A phage library displaying random 15 amino acid peptides was subjected to four rounds of selection, after which 14 clones were analyzed for BT-474 binding and specificity. One phage clone, 51, demonstrated superior binding and specificity, and the displayed peptide was synthesized for in vitro characterization. Peptide 51 bound specifically to BT-474 cells with an EC50 = 2.33 µM and was synthesized as a DOTA-conjugated peptide and radiolabeled with (111)In for in vitro and in vivo analysis. The radiolabeled peptide exhibited an IC50 = 16.1 nM to BT-474 cells and its biodistribution and SPECT imaging in BT-474 xenografted mice was analyzed. Although tumor uptake was moderate at 0.11% ID/g, SPECT imaging revealed a distinct tumor vasculature binding pattern. It was discovered that peptide 51 had an identical 5 amino acid N-terminal sequence to a peptide, V1, which bound to Nrp1, a tumor vasculature protein. Peptide 51 and V1 were examined for binding to target cells, and 51 bound both target and endothelial cells, while V1 only bound endothelial cells. Truncated versions of 51 did not bind BT-474 cells, demonstrating that the targeting ability of 51 was independent of the homologous V1 sequence. These results demonstrate that in vivo phage display can effectively identify a peptide that specifically targets a breast cancer cell line that is susceptible to targeted therapy resistance.

KEYWORDS:

Peptide; breast cancer; molecular imaging; phage display

PMID:
25143862
PMCID:
PMC4138138

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