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Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer and the fourth leading cause of cancer death around the world. The current treatments of CRC exhibited high occurrence rate of side effects. Docetaxel (DTX), an important drug widely used in cancer chemotherapy, showed serious toxicity in CRC. Reducing toxicity of DTX could be a feasible and promising way to achieve the new indication of DTX for CRC. In this study, a series of MMP-7 activated octapeptide-DTX/4FDT prodrugs (6a-10a and 6b-10b) were designed and synthesized based on the features of MMP-7 which is highly expressed in CRC and could specially recognize octapeptides with specific sequences. Among them, 9a and 9b, both possessing an octapeptide Gly-Pro-Gln-Gly-Ile-Ala-Met-Gln moiety, were the most potent prodrugs. Compounds 9a and 9b were also tested their release rate in HCT116 cell culture fluids and tumor homogenate along with in vivo anti-CRC activity and systemic toxicity. Since 9a showed better anti-CRC activity and lower systemic toxicity than 9b in CRC tumor bearing mice, it was further evaluated for its acute toxicity, pharmacokinetics and tissue distribution in comparison with its parent drug DTX. These results revealed that 9a possessed good systemic stability, rapid release rate in CRC and reduced systemic toxicity, while retaining similar anti-CRC activity to its parent drug DTX. Thus, 9a, an MMP-7 polypeptide prodrug of DTX, has been identified as a promising candidate for the treatment of CRC.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: European journal of medicinal chemistry
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