Targeting of cytotoxic conjugates to kaposi's sarcoma-derived cells

Ugo Cavallaro, Antonella del Vecchio, Gabriella Massazza, Pier Luigi Tazzari, Marco R. Soria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We assayed the cytotoxicity of conjugates in which the plant toxin saporin (SAP) was linked to human basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA). Both bFGF and uPA play an important role in angiogenesis, and their cell surface receptors are expressed at high levels in cancer cells. The conjugates were tested on a Kaposi's sarcoma-derived cell line, IST-KS2, as a model of an actively proliferating component of Kaposi's sarcoma lesions which are highly vascularized. Both bFGF and uPA were very effective at targeting saporin to KS cells, leading to cell killing even at low concentrations of the conjugates. The bFGF-SAP and uPA-SAP mitotoxins were also highly toxic toward the permanent, endothelium-derived EAhy926 cell line. EAhy926 cells were very sensitive to two immunotoxins containing an anti-endothelium monoclonal antibody coupled to saporin or ricin A chain, whereas IST-KS2 cells were not affected by these conjugates, in agreement with immuno cytochemical observations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-124
Number of pages6
JournalDrug Delivery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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