In vivo solid tumor targeting with recombinant VEGF-diphtheria immunotoxin

Document Type : Original Article


1 Biotechnology Research Center, Venom & Biotherapeutics Molecules Lab, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran

2 National Cell Bank, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran

3 Human Genetics Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Objective(s): A variety of signaling molecules have been identified that play a role in angiogenesis, of prime importance, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its resceptor (VEGFR), which is highly expressed in most human solid tumors. Targeting VEGF or/and VEGFR with immunotoxin may be a promising approach to directly affect cancer cells. Immunotoxins are for targeted treatment comprising two functional moieties, an antibody that binds to target cells along with toxin that kills molecules.  
Materials and Methods: In this study, an immunotoxin comprising domain of diphtheria toxin subunit A (DT386) genetically fused to mouse VEGF (mVEGF-DT) was developed. The second construct, which contains the DT386 domain, was made to investigate the action of the DT386 domain on tumor cells. Both gene constructs were cloned, expressed, and were further purified. The biological activity of mVEGF-DT and DT386 proteins was assessed on the TC1 cell line bearing mouse model. Proteins were injected intra-tumoral in mice, in separate groups. 
Results: Tumors in the mVEGF-DT group started to dwindle after six injections, but tumor size in both control groups (DT386 and PBS), continued to grow. 
Conclusion: Successful targeting of solid tumor cells by mVEGF-DT immunotoxin demonstrates the therapeutic potential utility of these conjugates for tumor targeting.


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