Speaker Biography

Ahmed Youssef

Assistant Professor Mutah University Jordan, Israel

Title: Tumor-Targeted Prodrugs



Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) play a significant role in degrading the extra- cellular matrix in cancer development and metastasis. Overexpression of matrix metalloproteinases in tumour tissues relative to normal tissues has been exploited as a target for peptide-based therapeutics, to improve therapeutic index of currently used agents. The stability of MMP-activated prodrugs in normal tissue or organs is a significant challenge for their success in the clinic. In an in vitro study, the stability of twenty six prodrugs was studied in mouse liver, kidney, lung and tumour homogenates using HPLC and LC/MS. Selected agents were studied in vivo. Each prodrug has a characteristic amino acid sequence with dominant FITC N-terminal end cap. All prodrugs were conjugated to a colchicine derivative (ICT 2552) which is a vascular disrupting agent causing tumour vasculature shutdown and consequently, tumour necrosis. ICT 3146, ICT 3019, ICT 3120 and ICT 3115 prodrugs showed  significant stability in normal tissues and considerable activation in certain tumour tissues compared to the lead compound ICT 2588. Also, the selectivity of promising prodrugs to the MMP family was confirmed by using leupeptin (serine, cysteine and threonine protease inhibitor), pepstatin A (aspartate protease inhibitor), phosphoramidon (nepralysin inhibitor), ilomastat (metalloproteinase inhibitor) and BML-P115 (matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor). Moreover, members of the MMP family responsible for cleaving the selected prodrugs were identified using recombinant MMP enzymes. Furthermore, a LC/MS-MS method was developed to specifically detect and quantify MMP-16 protein expression in H460 tumour. MMP-16 was responsible for the cleavage of ICT 3146 and ICT 3115. Therefore, MMP-activated prodrugs could be a useful therapeutic approach to avoid off-site toxicities of currently used anti-tumour agents