Inhibition of proliferation of small intestinal and bronchopulmonary neuroendocrine cell lines by using peptide analogs targeting receptors

Mark Kidd, Andrew V. Schally, Roswitha Pfragner, Maximillian V. Malfertheiner, Irvin M. Modlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. Currently, no consistently effective therapy is available to inhibit cell proliferation or metastasis of neuroendocrine tumor (NET) disease. The effects of 4 novel peptides were analyzed: a targeted cytotoxic analog of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH) analog (AN-152), a targeted cytotoxic analog of somatostatin (AN-238), and 2 antagonists of growth hormone-releasing hormone (GH-RH) on 3 NET (carcinoid) cell lines that expressed respective peptide receptors. METHODS. The effects of the compounds were evaluated on cell proliferation in vitro using MTT uptake and Ki67 expression, apoptosis (caspase 3 expression and activity), and cell cycle parameters (DNA distribution). RESULTS. Proliferation of the LH-RH receptor-expressing lung NET, NCI-H720 line, was inhibited 2-fold by AN-152 containing doxorubicin compared with the chemotherapy alone (IC50 of 9.1 nM vs 24 nM). This was associated with a reduction in Ki67 transcript and an increase in both caspase 3 mRNA levels and activity. Proliferation of the GH-RH receptor expressing lung NET, NCI-H727 line, was inhibited by both GH-RH antagonists, the effects being mediated through changes in Ki67 expression, but not in caspase 3-mediated apoptosis. The small intestinal NET, KRJ-I line, was 8x more sensitive to inhibition by AN-238 than to 2-pyrolino-doxorubicin, reflected by increased caspase 3 transcript as well as activity. AN-238-mediated growth inhibition culminated in complete G1 arrest. CONCLUSIONS. The data demonstrate GH-RH antagonists or peptide-linked antineoplastic agents such as AN-152 and AN-238 are effective inhibitors of NET proliferation in vitro. Because peptide receptors such as those for GH-RH, LH-RH, and SST subtypes are commonly expressed by NETs, the development of antineoplastic agents targeted to specific tumor receptors may provide a more efficacious strategy than systemic chemotherapeutic agents currently in use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1404-1414
Number of pages11
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 2008


  • AN-152
  • AN-238
  • Bronchopulmonary carcinoid
  • Carcinoid
  • Cytotoxic peptide analogs
  • Doxorubicin
  • Drug sensitivity
  • H720
  • H727
  • KRJ-I
  • MZ-5-156
  • Neuroendocrine tumor
  • Somatostatin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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