Treatment of Cancer by Inducing Cell Apoptosis
Treatment of Cancer by Inducing Cell Apoptosis
Synthetic polypeptides for treating and preventing diseases characterized by excess cell proliferation, such as mesenchymally derived cells.
San Diego, CA, United States
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Background

Abnormal cell proliferation is a hallmark of various pathological conditions. In particular, uncontrolled cell growth is associated with diseases such as fibrosis (e.g., hepatic fibrosis), and various other diseases and conditions associated with abnormal cell proliferation, including cancer.

For example, chronic hepatitis is characterized as an inflammatory liver disease continuing for at least six months without improvement. Chronic hepatitis C represents one form of chronic hepatitis. Left unchecked, chronic hepatitis C can progress to cirrhosis and extensive necrosis of the liver. Although chronic hepatitis C is often associated with deposition of collagen type I leading to hepatic fibrosis, the mechanisms of fibrogenesis remain unknown. There remains a need for compositions and methods that are effective in suppressing the activation and proliferation of abnormal cells, including cancer cells.


Technology Description

UC San Diego scientists have designed synthetic polypeptides for treating and preventing diseases characterized by excess cell proliferation, such as mesenchymally derived cells (e.g. hepatic stellate cells). The present invention provides compositions and methods to inhibit or eliminate fibrosis and cancer. Using standard delivery techniques, the peptide triggers apoptosis selectively in the cancer cells but spares the normal cells.


State Of Development

A U.S. patent application has been filed (see patent application publication number 2010/0035825); allowed claims include: 

  1. A peptide comprising a synthetic N-acetyl-KA VD-C-aldehyde peptide (Ac-KA VD-CHO), or a variant thereof in which the alanine is replaced with one of the group consisting of arginine, asparagine, cysteine, glutamine, glycine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, proline, tryptophan, and valine.
  2. A pharmaceutical composition comprising a synthetic N-acetyl-KA VD-C-aldehyde peptide (Ac-KA VD-CHO), or a variant thereof in which the alanine is replaced with one of the group consisting of arginine, asparagine, cysteine, glutamine, glycine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, proline, tryptophan, and valine.
  3. The pharmaceutical composition of claim 2, comprising said synthetic N-acetyl-KA VD-C-aldehyde peptide (Ac-KA VD-CRO).
  4. A pharmaceutical composition comprising the peptide of claim 1.
  5. A method for increasing cell apoptosis, comprised of the administering to a mammalian subject in need thereof the pharmaceutical composition of claim 2 in an amount effective to increase cell apoptosis.
  6. A method for increasing cell apoptosis, comprised of contacting a population of cells with the peptide of claim 1, wherein said contacting is in vitro and is under conditions effective to increase cell apoptosis.
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