The anti-pan carcinoma monoclonal antibody (MAb) 323/A3, linked to E. coli-derived β-glucuronidase (GUS) was used to study the tumour-site-selective activation of the prodrug Epirubicin-glucuronide (Epi-glu). Epi-glu was isolated from the urine of patients treated with Epirubicin (Epi) by reversed phase chromatography on a silica-C18 column. Epi-glu was stable in human blood and was not converted into Epi by A2780, MCF-7, or OVCAR-3 cancer cells, despite the presence of intracellular GUS. The stability of the prodrug was confirmed in BALB/c mice. MAb 323/A3 and GUS were linked through a stable thioether bond. The conjugate (1:1) was purified by ion exchange and gel filtration chromatography. Binding to target cells revealed an immunoreactivity of at least 60% and good retention of enzyme activity. A protein dye (sulforhodamine B) assay was used to analyse cytotoxicity. Epi (IC50 of 0.003-0.21 μM) was 100-1000 times more toxic than Epi-glu (IC50 of >20 μM), when cancer cells were exposed for 4 or 24h to the drugs. The low cytotoxicity of Epi-glu was most likely due to the reduced cellular uptake rate of the prodrug (2.7 pmol 10-6 cells min-1) as compared to that of the parent compound (25 pmol 10-6 cells min-1). Pretreatment of antigen-positive cells with the 323/A3-GUS conjugate prior to prodrug exposure completely restored cytotoxicity as a result from hydrolysis of Epi-glu into Epi. Our results demonstrate that the 323/A3-GUS conjugate can specifically activate the stable non-toxic prodrug Epi-glu at the tumour cell level.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||British Journal of Cancer|
|State||Published - 1992|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research