A tetrameric peptide derived from bovine lactoferricin as a potential therapeutic tool for oral squamous cell carcinoma: A preclinical model

Víctor Alfonso Solarte, Paulette Conget, Jean Paul Vernot, Jaiver Eduardo Rosas, Zuly Jenny Rivera, Javier Eduardo García, Martha Ligia Arango-Rodríguez

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8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Oral squamous cell carcinoma is the fifth most common epithelial cancer in the world, and its current clinical treatment has both low efficiency and poor selectivity. Cationic amphipathic peptides have been proposed as new drugs for the treatment of different types of cancer. The main goal of the present work was to determine the potential of LfcinB(20-25)4, a tetrameric peptide based on the core sequence RRWQWR of bovine lactoferricin LfcinB (20-25), for the treatment of OSCC. In brief, OSCC was induced in the buccal pouch of hamsters by applying 7, 12-Dimethylbenz(a)anthracene, and tumors were treated with one of the following peptides: LfcinB(20-25)4, LfcinB(20-25), or vehicle (control). Lesions were macroscopically evaluated every two days and both histological and serum IgG assessments were conducted after 5 weeks. The size of the tumors treated with LfcinB(20-25)4 and LfcinB(20-25) was smaller than that of the control group (46.16±4.41 and 33.92±2.74 mm3 versus 88.77±10.61 mm3, respectively). Also, LfcinB(20-25)4 caused acellularity in the parenchymal tumor compared with LfcinB(20-25) and vehicle treatments. Furthermore, our results demonstrated that both LfcinB(20-25)4 and LfcinB(20-25) induced higher degree of apoptosis relative to the untreated tumors (75-86% vs 8%, respectively). Moreover, although the lowest inflammatory response was achieved when LfcinB(20-25)4 was used, this peptide appeared to induce higher levels of IgG antibodies relative to the vehicle and LfcinB(20-25). In addition the cellular damage and selectivity of the LfcinB(20-25)4 peptide was evaluated in vitro. These assays showed that LfcinB(20-25)4 triggers a selective necrotic effect in the carcinoma cell line. Cumulatively, these data indicate that LfcinB(20-25)4 could be considered as a new therapeutic agent for the treatment of OSCC.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0174707
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes

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