Blocking angiogenesis is an attractive strategy to inhibit tumor growth, invasion, and metastasis. We describe here the structure and the biological action of a new cyclic peptide derived from vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). This 17-amino acid molecule designated cyclopeptidic vascular endothelial growth inhibitor (cyclo-VEGI, CBO-P11) encompasses residues 79-93 of VEGF which are involved in the interaction with VEGF receptor-2. In aqueous solution, cyclo-VEGI presents a propensity to adopt a helix conformation that was largely unexpected because only β-sheet structures or random coil conformations have been observed for macrocyclic peptides. Cyclo-VEGI inhibits binding of iodinated VEGF165 to endothelial cells, endothelial cells proliferation, migration, and signaling induced by VEGF165. This peptide also exhibits anti-angiogenic activity in vivo on the differentiated chicken chorioallantoic membrane. Furthermore, cyclo-VEGI significantly blocks the growth of established intracranial glioma in nude and syngeneic mice and improves survival without side effects. Taken together, these results suggest that cyclo-VEGI is an attractive candidate for the development of novel angiogenesis inhibitor molecules useful for the treatment of cancer and other angiogenesis-related diseases.
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