Recombinant EGFR/MMP-2 bi-targeted fusion protein markedly binding to non-small-cell lung carcinoma and exerting potent therapeutic efficacy

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Overexpression of EGFR and MMP-2 plays an essential role in the initiation and progression of non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). In this study, a novel format of EGFR/MMP-2 bi-targeted fusion protein Ec-LDP-TIMP2 and its enediyne-integrated analogue Ec-LDP(AE)-TIMP2 have been prepared by genetic engineering and molecular reconstitution. The Ec-LDP(AE)-TIMP2 comprises endogenous inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase 2 (TIMP2), EGF-derived oligopeptide (Ec), lidamycin apoprotein (LDP), and the extremely potent cytotoxic enediyne (AE). By tissue microarray, Ec-LDP-TIMP2 showed high binding intensity and selectivity to human NSCLC specimens as compared with the matched non-cancerous tissues. By in vivo imaging, Ec-LDP-TIMP2 displayed prominent tumor-specific distribution in human NSCLC H460 xenograft. Particularly, Ec-LDP(AE)-TIMP2 inhibited tumor growth of H460 xenograft in athymic mice more striking. At doses of 0.2 and 0.4 mg/kg, Ec-LDP(AE)-TIMP2 suppressed tumor growth by 74% and 89%, respectively. No histopathological changes were found in various organs of treated animals, suggesting that the effective dosage was tolerated. In summary, the ligand-based and enediyne-integrated fusion protein displaying extremely potent cytotoxicity might be highly effective for NSCLC therapy and useful as a carrier for drug delivery.

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