Protein Kinase CK2 is a serine-threonine kinase frequently deregulated in many human tumors. Here, we hypothesized that a peptide binder to the CK2 phosphoacceptor site could exhibit anticancer properties in vitro, in tumor animal models, and in cancer patients. By screening a random cyclic peptide phage display library, we identified the CIGB-300 (formerly P15-Tat), a cyclic peptide which abrogates the CK2 phosphorylation by blocking recombinant substrates in vitro. Interestingly, synthetic CIGB-300 led to a dose-dependent antiproliferative effect in a variety of tumor cell lines and induced apoptosis as evidenced by rapid caspase activation. Importantly, CIGB-300 elicited significant antitumor effect both by local and systemic administration in murine syngenic tumors and human tumors xenografted in nude mice. Finally, we performed a First-in-Man trial with CIGB 300 in patients with cervical malignancies. The peptide was found to be safe and well tolerated in the dose range studied. Likewise, signs of clinical benefit were clearly identified after the CIGB-300 treatment as evidenced by significant decrease of the tumor lesion area and histological examination. Our results provide an early proof-of-principle of clinical benefit by using an anti-CK2 approach in cancer. Furthermore, this is the first clinical trial where an investigational drug has been used to target the CK2 phosphorylation domain.
Casein kinase 2 Apoptosis Cancer targeted therapy
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This work was supported by HeberBiotec SA and Biorec.
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