Bombesin peptide antagonist for target-selective delivery of liposomal doxorubicin on cancer cells

Antonella Accardo, Rosalba Mansi, Giuseppina Salzano, Anna Morisco, Michela Aurilio, Antonio Parisi, Francesco Maione, Carla Cicala, Barbara Ziaco, Diego Tesauro, Luigi Aloj, Giuseppe De Rosa, Giancarlo Morelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This study addresses novel peptide modified liposomal doxorubicin to specifically target tissues overexpressing bombesin (BN) receptors. Methods: DOTA-(AEEA)2-peptides containing the [7-14]bombesin and the new BN-AA1 sequence have been synthesized to compare their binding properties and in serum stabilities. The amphiphilic peptide derivative (MonY-BN-AA1) containing BN-AA1, a hydrophobic moiety, polyethylenglycole (PEG), and diethylenetriaminepentaacetate (DTPA), has been synthesized. Liposomes have been obtained by mixing of MonY-BN-AA1 with 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3- phosphocholine (DSPC). Results: Both 111In labeled peptide derivatives present nanomolar Kd to PC-3 cells. 177Lu labeled peptide DOTA-(AEEA)2-BN-AA1 is very stable (half-life 414.1 h), while DOTA-(AEEA)2-BN, shows a half-life of 15.5 h. In vivo studies on the therapeutic efficacy of DSPC/MonY-BN-AA1/Dox in comparison to DSPC/MonY-BN/Dox, were performed in PC-3 xenograft bearing mice. Both formulations showed similar tumor growth inhibition (TGI) compared to control animals treated with non-targeted DSPC/Dox liposomes or saline solution. For DSPC/MonY-BN-AA1/Dox the maximum effect was observed 19 days after treatment. Conclusions: DSPC/MonY-BN-AA1/Dox nanovectors confirm the ability to selectively target and provide therapeutic efficacy in mice. The lack of receptor activation and possible acute biological side effects provided by using the AA1 antagonist bombesin sequence should provide safe working conditions for further development of this class of drug delivery vehicles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)240-249
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Drug Targeting
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


  • Animal studies
  • Anticancer efficacy
  • Bombesin peptide
  • Doxorubicin delivery
  • Liposomes for drug delivery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science

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