Targeted delivery of proapoptotic peptides to tumor-associated macrophages improves survival

Departments of Bioengineering and Medical Genetics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.67). 09/2013; 110(40). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1312197110
Source: PubMed


Most current cancer therapies focus on killing malignant cells, but these cells are often genetically unstable and can become resistant to chemotherapy. Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) facilitate disease progression by promoting angiogenesis and tumor cell growth, as well as by suppressing the adaptive immune response. TAMs are therefore potential targets for adjuvant anticancer therapies. However, resident macrophages are critical to host defense, and preferential ablation of TAMs remains challenging. Macrophage activation is broadly categorized as classically activated, or M1, and alternatively activated, or M2, and TAMs in the tumor microenvironment have been shown to adopt the anti-inflammatory, M2-like phenotype. To date, there are no methods for specific molecular targeting of TAMs. In this work, we report the discovery of a unique peptide sequence, M2pep, identified using a subtractive phage biopanning strategy against whole cells. The peptide preferentially binds to murine M2 cells, including TAMs, with low affinity for other leukocytes. Confocal imaging demonstrates the accumulation of M2pep in TAMs in vivo after tail vein injection. Finally, tail vein injection of an M2pep fusion peptide with a proapoptotic peptide delays mortality and selectively reduces the M2-like TAM population. This work therefore describes a molecularly targeted construct for murine TAMs and provides proof of concept of this approach as an anticancer treatment. In addition, M2pep is a useful tool for murine M2 macrophage identification and for modulating M2 macrophages in other murine models of disease involving M2 cells.

28 Reads
  • Source
    • "On the other hand, it is known that the control of macrophage activity in tumors is important for effective tumor treatment.28,29 If the type of tumor macrophages that engulf CNHs were known, then new approaches for the treatment of tumors would be easier to develop.30,31 "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Nanocarbons have many potential medical applications. Drug delivery, diagnostic imaging, and photohyperthermia therapy, especially in the treatment of tumors, have attracted interest. For the further advancement of these application studies, the microscopic localization of nanocarbons in tumor tissues and cells is a prerequisite. In this study, carbon nanohorns (CNHs) with sizes of about 100 nm were intravenously injected into mice having subcutaneously transplanted tumors, and the CNHs in tumor tissue were observed with optical and electron microscopy. In the tumor tissue, the CNHs were found in macrophages and endothelial cells within the blood vessels. Few CNHs were found in tumor cells or in the region away from blood vessels, suggesting that, under these study conditions, the enhanced permeability of tumor blood vessels was not effective for the movement of CNHs through the vessel walls. The CNHs in normal skin tissue were similarly observed. The extravasation of CNHs was not so obvious in tumor but was easily found in normal skin, which was probably due to their vessel wall structure difference. Proper understanding of the location of CNHs in tissues is helpful in the development of the medical uses of CNHs.
    International Journal of Nanomedicine 07/2014; 9(1):3499-508. DOI:10.2147/IJN.S62688 · 4.38 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "The recent report showed that M2pep, a peptide, can preferentially binds to M2 macrophages with low affinity for other leukocytes. Systemical administration of an M2pep fusion peptide with a proapoptotic peptide specifically reduced M2-like macrophages (77). A combination of CpG oligodeoxynucleotides and an IL-10 receptor-specific antibody switched TAMs from an M2 to an M1 type and triggered an innate response that was able to cure the majority of mice bearing large tumors (78). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Stem cell therapies have had tremendous potential application for many diseases in recent years. However, the tumorigenic properties of stem cells restrict their potential clinical application; therefore, strategies for reducing the tumorigenic potential of stem cells must be established prior to transplantation. We have demonstrated that syngeneic transplantation of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) provokes an inflammatory response that involves the rapid recruitment of bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs). ESCs are able to prevent mature macrophages from macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF) withdrawal-induced apoptosis, and thus prolong macrophage lifespan significantly by blocking various apoptotic pathways in an M-CSF-independent manner. ESCs express and secrete IL-34, which may be responsible for ESC-promoted macrophage survival. This anti-apoptotic effect of ESCs involves activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 and PI3K/Akt pathways and thus, inhibition of ERK1/2 and PI3K/AKT activation decreases ESC-induced macrophage survival. Functionally, ESC-treated macrophages also showed a higher level of phagocytic activity. ESCs further serve to polarize BMDMs into M2-like macrophages that exhibit most tumor-associated macrophage phenotypic and functional features. ESC-educated macrophages produce high levels of arginase-1, Tie-2, and TNF-α, which participate in angiogenesis and contribute to teratoma progression. Our study suggests that induction of M2-like macrophage activation is an important mechanism for teratoma development. Strategies targeting macrophages to inhibit teratoma development would increase the safety of ESC-based therapies, inasmuch as the depletion of macrophages completely inhibits ESC-induced angiogenesis and teratoma development.
    Frontiers in Immunology 07/2014; 5:275. DOI:10.3389/fimmu.2014.00275
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract Tumour-associated macrophages (TAM) exhibit an M2 phenotype that promotes tumour progression, and conversion of M2 TAM toward a tumouricidal M1 phenotype is a promising anti-cancer therapy. As NF-κB is a key regulator of macrophage polarization, we developed an in vivo TAM-targeting delivery system that combines mannose-modified bubble liposomes/NF-κB decoy complexes (Man-PEG bubble lipoplexes) and ultrasound (US) exposure. We investigated the effects of NF-κB decoy transfection on TAM phenotype in solid tumour-bearing mice. Post-transfection tumour growth and survival rates were also recorded. Th2 cytokine (IL-10) level in TAM was significantly lower by NF-κB decoy transfection using Man-PEG bubble lipoplexes and US exposure, while Th1 cytokine levels (IL-1β, TNF-α and IL-6) were significantly higher when compared with controls. In addition, mRNA levels of vascular endothelial growth factor, matrix metalloproteinase-9 and arginase were significantly lower in TAM post-NF-κB decoy transfection. Importantly, TAM-targeted NF-κB decoy transfection inhibited tumour growth and prolonged survival rates in mice. Therefore, TAM-targeted NF-κB decoy transfection using Man-PEG bubble lipoplexes and US exposure may be an effective approach for anti-cancer therapy based on TAM phenotypic conversion from M2 toward M1.
    Journal of Drug Targeting 03/2014; 22(5). DOI:10.3109/1061186X.2014.880443 · 2.74 Impact Factor
Show more