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Mol Pharm. 2018 Nov 5;15(11):5046-5057. doi: 10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.8b00647. Epub 2018 Oct 10.

Human Serum Albumin and the p53-Derived Peptide Fusion Protein Promotes Cytotoxicity Irrespective of p53 Status in Cancer Cells.

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Key Laboratory of Chemical Biology (Ministry of Education), School of Pharmaceutical Sciences , Shandong University , 44 West Culture Road , 250012 Ji'nan , Shandong , P. R. China.


Human serum albumin (HSA) fusion protein is a viable and effective approach to target and inhibit essential intracellular pathways. It has previously been shown that an HSA fusion protein containing a p53-reactivating peptide (rHSA-p53i) retains the binding activity to MDM2 and MDMX, resulting in p53 transcription-dependent apoptosis. Here, we demonstrate that rHSA-p53i is able to bind and neutralize anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins, Bcl-xL and Mcl-1. This interaction displaces pro-apoptotic Bak and subsequently leads to intrinsic apoptosis via mimicking a p53 transcription-independent pathway. Cytotoxicity induced by rHSA-p53i, via p53 transcription dependent and independent apoptotic pathways, is irrespective of the p53 status in MDA-MB-231, HeLa, and SJSA-1 cells possessing either mutant, deficient, or wild-type p53. The therapeutic potential is also confirmed by treating SJSA-1 and MDA-MB-231 xenograft mouse tumors with rHSA-p53i. These data reveal that rHSA-p53i interferes with at least four intracellular targets, making it a viable therapeutic protein for the treatment of a variety of cancers, as well as a carrier to deliver fatty acid-modified chemotherapeutics.


Bcl-2 proteins; albumin fusion protein; apoptosis; p53; synergistic cancer therapy

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