The understanding we now have of the pHLIPs (pH-Low Insertion Peptides) enables the design of novel, pH- sensitive targeting agents that use the acidity of tumor cell surfaces as a biomarker. The work supported by this grant has already yielded a new diagnostic nuclear imaging agent (PET-pHLIP) and a new fluorescent imaging agent for image-guided surgical interventions (ICG-pHLIP), which are advancing to clinical trials at MemorialSloanKetteringCancerCenterin2019. The primary focus of this continuation is to enable targeted intracellular delivery of polar and moderately hydrophobic therapeutic molecules. We propose a systematic approach using representative cargoes from 3 classes of therapeutic molecules that possess different physical, chemical and functional properties: i) a moderately hydrophobic, sparingly cell-permeable, small drug molecule: mertansine;? ii) a moderately polar, cell-impermeable, cyclic, rigid, larger drug: amanitin;? and iii) a large, polar, cell-impermeable drug: calicheamicin. Each of these drugs is currently under development or in use as an antibody-drug conjugate warhead, but there are important limitations to the antibody approaches, including limited biomarker availability, resistance selection, a narrow therapeutic window and limited delivery, often with < 1% of a constructreachingthetumor.Ourapproachisbasedontargetingtumoracidity,especiallycancercellsurface pHthatisageneralparameterwithinandamongdifferenttumors,andindependentoftumorperfusion. We propose to explore variation of pHLIP sequences, introduce pHLIP-cycles and exploit pHLIP-bundles for delivery of these therapeutic cargoes. The pHLIP-cargo constructs will be tested for insertion stability and kinetics, using biophysical methods and computational modelling. Activity will be evaluated in cells, and promising constructs will be assessed in vivo. We will accumulate a parameter database of pHLIP-cargo properties and employ modern bioinformatics algorithms to analyze the entire data set to reveal major design principles. BystudiesofthesetherapeuticagentswithpHLIPs,wehopetofindprinciplesfortargeteddeliveryofarange of other compounds. Should we be successful, the limitations of antibody drug conjugates for therapy will be overcome,andgreaterunderstandingofthemembranebarrierwillalsobeinhand.Ourexpectationistohave acandidateforthetreatmentofbladdercancerasthepracticaloutcomeofthisgrantrenewal.

Public Health Relevance

Our work on the pH-triggered insertion of transmembrane helices using pHLIPs (pH-Low Insertion Peptides) has given two pHLIP-based imaging agents now entering clinical trials and has led to new insights about the basic science of peptide insertion into membranes in terms of structure, energetics and kinetics. As we learn more about the principles, we are able to design better versions of peptides for specific clinical applications. The primary focus of this continuation is to enable targeted intracellular delivery of polar and moderately hydrophobictherapeuticmolecules,maximizingtheirtherapeuticeffectswhilereducingsideeffects.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Research Project (R01)
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Biochemistry and Biophysics of Membranes Study Section (BBM)
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Wu, Mary Ann
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Yale University
Schools of Medicine
New Haven
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Vila-Viçosa, Diogo; Silva, Tomás F D; Slaybaugh, Gregory et al. (2018) Membrane-Induced p Ka Shifts in wt-pHLIP and Its L16H Variant. J Chem Theory Comput 14:3289-3297
Wyatt, Linden C; Lewis, Jason S; Andreev, Oleg A et al. (2018) Applications of pHLIP Technology for Cancer Imaging and Therapy: (Trends in Biotechnology 35, 653-664, 2017). Trends Biotechnol 36:1300
Karabadzhak, Alexander G; Weerakkody, Dhammika; Deacon, John et al. (2018) Bilayer Thickness and Curvature Influence Binding and Insertion of a pHLIP Peptide. Biophys J 114:2107-2115
Wyatt, Linden C; Moshnikova, Anna; Crawford, Troy et al. (2018) Peptides of pHLIP family for targeted intracellular and extracellular delivery of cargo molecules to tumors. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 115:E2811-E2818
Daniels, Jennifer L; Crawford, Troy M; Andreev, Oleg A et al. (2017) Synthesis and characterization of pHLIP® coated gold nanoparticles. Biochem Biophys Rep 10:62-69
Karabadzhak, Alexander G; Petti, Lisa M; Barrera, Francisco N et al. (2017) Two transmembrane dimers of the bovine papillomavirus E5 oncoprotein clamp the PDGF ? receptor in an active dimeric conformation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 114:E7262-E7271
Wyatt, Linden C; Lewis, Jason S; Andreev, Oleg A et al. (2017) Applications of pHLIP Technology for Cancer Imaging and Therapy. Trends Biotechnol 35:653-664
Narayanan, Theyencheri; Weerakkody, Dhammika; Karabadzhak, Alexander G et al. (2016) pHLIP Peptide Interaction with a Membrane Monitored by SAXS. J Phys Chem B 120:11484-11491
Golijanin, Jovana; Amin, Ali; Moshnikova, Anna et al. (2016) Targeted imaging of urothelium carcinoma in human bladders by an ICG pHLIP peptide ex vivo. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 113:11829-11834
Anderson, Michael; Moshnikova, Anna; Engelman, Donald M et al. (2016) Probe for the measurement of cell surface pH in vivo and ex vivo. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 113:8177-81

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