Synthesis of breast cancer targeting conjugate of temporin-SHa analog and its effect on pro- and anti-apoptotic protein expression in MCF-7 cells

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The frog natural product temporin-SHa (FLSGIVGMLGKLFamide) is a potent antimicrobial peptide, as is the analog [S3K]SHa. By solid-phase synthesis, we prepared temporin-SHa and several temporin-SHa analogs with one or more D-alanine residues incorporated. The natural product and the analog [G10a]SHa were found to be cytotoxic in mammalian cell lines and induce cell death. To achieve selectivity, we conjugated the analog [G10a]SHa with a breast cancer targeting peptide (BCTP). The resulting peptide temporin [G10a]SHa-BCTP conjugate was selectively active against the MCF-7 breast cancer cell line with no cytotoxicity in NIH-3T3 fibroblasts. Unlike the natural product or [G10a]SHa, the conjugated peptide induced apoptosis, downregulating the expression of Bcl-2 and survivin and upregulating Bax and caspase-3.

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