A peptide conjugate of vitamin E succinate targets breast cancer cells with high ErbB2 expression.

Xiu-Fang Wang, Marc Birringer, Lan-Feng Dong, Pavel Veprek, Pauline Low, Emma Swettenham, Marina Stantic, Lin-Hong Yuan, Renata Zobalova, Kun Wu, Miroslav Ledvina, Stephen J Ralph, Jiri Neuzil
Cancer research2007
Overexpression of erbB2 is associated with resistance to apoptosis. We explored whether high level of erbB2 expression by cancer cells allows their targeting using an erbB2-binding peptide (LTVSPWY) attached to the proapoptotic alpha-tocopheryl succinate (alpha-TOS). Treating erbB2-low or erbB2-high cells with alpha-TOS induced similar levels of apoptosis, whereas alpha-TOS-LTVSPWY induced greater levels of apoptosis in erbB2-high cells. alpha-TOS rapidly accumulated in erbB2-high cells exposed to alpha-TOS-LTVSPWY. The extent of apoptosis induced in erbB2-high cells by alpha-TOS-LTVSPWY was suppressed by erbB2 RNA interference as well as by inhibition of either endocytotic or lysosomal function. alpha-TOS-LTVSPWY reduced erbB2-high breast carcinomas in FVB/N c-neu transgenic mice. We conclude that a conjugate of a peptide targeting alpha-TOS to erbB2-overexpressing cancer cells induces rapid apoptosis and efficiently suppresses erbB2-positive breast tumors.

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