The phosphoinositide 3-kinases (PI3Ks) signaling pathway is one of the most important pathways in cancer, and a number of PI3K inhibitors are currently in preclinical and clinical studies for various cancer therapies. We and others have demonstrated that the isoform PI3K-p100? is essential for tumorigenesis and androgen-independent progression in prostate cancer. TGX-221 is a novel, isoform- specific, and potent small molecule inhibitor of PI3K-p100?. While TGX-221, therefore, has considerable potential as a novel chemotherapy agent for prostate cancer, its poor solubility and lack of selectivity for prostate cancer cells limit its clinical application. We have recently synthesized a TGX- 221 derivative, TGX-D1, which contains a hydroxyl group for peptide conjugation but exhibits similar activity and isoform-specificity as TGX-221. In this project, we will replace the ?OH of TGX-D1 with ?SH to form TGX-SH, which will have better stability in the serum. The overall objectives of this project are: 1) to develop a novel peptide-modified TGX-SH to overcome the two potential obstacles of TGX-221, poor solubility and lack of specificity to prostate cancer cells; 2) to evaluate its therapeutic effectiveness in combination with other anti-prostate cancer agents. The long-term goal of this project is to develop a peptide-based platform that may be used for not only TGX-SH but also other anti-prostate cancer agents that face poor solubility and poor tissue- specificity. Approximately 40% of new chemical entities in drug discovery are lipophilic and fail to reach market due to poor solubility. Not to mention that lack of tissue specificity is another major challenge for most chemical entities. Successful completion of the proposed studies may provide a promising concept for other small molecule drugs that face similar clinical challenges, poor stability and lack of target-ability.

Public Health Relevance

Prostate cancer is the most common male malignancy and remains the leading cause of death in American men, in spite of extensive efforts and recent advances in early diagnosis and surgical intervention. Recent NCI data indicate that 241,740 new cases will be diagnosed in 2012, and that more than 28,170 will die from complications, primarily metastases, of prostate cancer. At the completion of this research, it is our expectation that we will have established a potentially innovative approach to enhance the therapeutic efficacy of a novel chemotherapy drug via peptide modification.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Research Project (R01)
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Nanotechnology Study Section (NANO)
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Okita, Richard T
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University of Missouri Kansas City
Schools of Pharmacy
Kansas City
United States
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Liu, Chang; Zhang, Li; Liu, Hao et al. (2017) Delivery strategies of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing system for therapeutic applications. J Control Release 266:17-26