New peptide MY1340 revert the inhibition effect of VEGF on dendritic cells differentiation and maturation via blocking VEGF-NRP-1 axis and inhibit tumor growth in vivo

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The development and clinical application of immunostimulatory therapy provides us a new and exciting strategy in cancer treatment of which the agents act on crucial receptors. Given the fact that Neuropilin-1(NRP-1) is essential for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) to inhibit LPS-dependent maturation of dendritic cells (DCs), it may present a potentially meaningful target in cancer immunotherapy. To explore this hypothesis, we synthesized a novel polypeptide called MY1340 consist of 32 amino acids with the aim of targeting VEGF–NRP-1 axis. Pull-down assay coupled with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analysis (LC-MS/MS) was firstly conducted to identify NRP-1 as a potential MY1340 interacting protein, and the interaction between them was further confirmed by western blot. The competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) results revealed that MY1340 was able to inhibit the binding between NRP-1 and VEGF with IC50 7.42ng/ml, better than that of Tuftsin, although a natural ligand reportedly specific for the NRP-1 receptor. The presence of VEGF significantly reduced the expression of human leukocyte antigen-DR (HLA-DR), CD86 and CD11C on DCs, and this effect was reverted by MY1340-augment p65 NF-κB and ERK1/2 phosphorylation. We also present evidence that MY1340 is remarkably efficacious in the treatment of mice bearing subcutaneous liver cancer and induced DC maturation in the tumor environment in vivo. Taken together, these results indicate that MY1340 may represent a potential efficient immune therapeutic compound within disease that are rich in VEGF.HIGHLIGHTSMY1340 was observed to bind NRP-1 receptor on DCs and inhibit the VEGF-NRP-1 complex formation.MY1340 reversed the deleterious effects of VEGF on DC by up-regulating VEGF-inhibited ERK1/2 and NF-κB.In vivo study confirmed the efficacy of MY1340 as a safe antineoplastic agent.MY1340 induce maturation of spleen DCs which was accompanied by up-regulation of co-stimulatory molecules.

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