Clinical & Experimental Metastasis

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 379–393 | Cite as

A d-amino acid containing peptide as a potent, noncovalent inhibitor of α5β1 integrin in human prostate cancer invasion and lung colonization

  • Donna M. Veine
  • Hongren Yao
  • Daniel R. Stafford
  • Kevin S. Fay
  • Donna L. Livant
Research Paper


Primary tumors often give rise to disseminated tumor cells (DTC’s), which acquire full malignancy after invading distant site(s). Thus, DTC’s may be a productive target for preventing prostate cancer metastasis progression. Our prior research showed that PHSCN peptide (Ac-PHSCN-NH2) targets activated α5β1 integrin to prevent invasion and metastasis in preclinical adenocarcinoma models, and disease progression in Phase I clinical trial. Here, we report that d-stereoisomer replacement of histidine and cysteine in PHSCN produces a highly potent derivative, Ac-PhScN-NH2 (PhScN). PhScN was 27,000- to 150,000-fold more potent as an inhibitor of basement membrane invasion by DU 145 and PC-3 prostate cancer cells. A large increase in invasion–inhibitory potency occurred after covalent modification of the sulfhydryl group in PHSCN to prevent disulfide bond formation; while the potency of covalently modified PhScN was not significantly increased. Thus PhScN and PHSCN invasion inhibition occurs by a noncovalent mechanism. These peptides also displayed similar cell surface binding dissociation constants (Kd), and competed for the same site. Consistent with its increased invasion–inhibitory potency, PhScN was also a highly potent inhibitor of lung extravasation and colonization in athymic nude mice: it was several hundred- or several thousand-fold more potent than PHSCN at blocking extravasation by PC-3 or DU 145 cells, and 111,000- or 379,000-fold more potent at inhibiting lung colonization, respectively. Furthermore, systemic 5 mg/kg PhScN monotherapy was sufficient to cause complete regression of established, intramuscular DU 145 tumors. PhScN thus represents a potent new family of therapeutic agents targeting metastasis by DTC’s to prevent parallel progression in prostate cancer.


Alpha5 beta1 integrin d-amino acids Invasion Extravasation Lung colonization Disseminated tumor cells 





Fetal bovine serum




Combination index


Concentration for 50 % inhibition


Dose reduction index


Hanks buffered salt solution


Disseminated tumor cells


Enzyme–linked immunoabsorbant assay


1,1′-dilinoleyl-3,3,3′3′-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate


Multiantigenic peptide


Monoclonal antibody


Standard error of mean


Optimal cutting temperature


Fluorescein isothiocyanate



















The authors wish to thank Dr. David Ballou and Dr. Eric Carter in the Department of Biological Chemistry, University of Michigan for helpful suggestions in the development and analysis of the binding assays and data. We also wish to thank Dr. Ted Lawrence, Dr. Daniel Hamstra and Dr. Yi Sun in the Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan for providing thoughtful insight to the preparation of this manuscript. This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health, R01 CA119007, “PHSCN Therapies to Prevent Prostate Cancer Progression”, with fiscal assistance from the Office of Technology Transfer, University of Michigan Medical School Office of Research, Ann Arbor, Michigan.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donna M. Veine
    • 1
  • Hongren Yao
    • 1
  • Daniel R. Stafford
    • 1
  • Kevin S. Fay
    • 1
  • Donna L. Livant
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Radiation OncologyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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