Sequence Effect of Self-Assembling Peptides on the Complexation and In Vitro Delivery of the Hydrophobic Anticancer Drug Ellipticine, PLoS One
A special class of self-assembling peptides has been found to be capable of stabilizing the hydrophobic anticancer agent ellipticine in aqueous solution. Here we study the effect of peptide sequence on the complex formation and its anticancer activity in vitro. Three peptides, EAK16-II, EAK16-IV and EFK16-II, were selected to have either a different charge distribution (EAK16-II vs. EAK16-IV) or a varying hydrophobicity (EAK16-II vs. EFK16-II). Results on their complexation with ellipticine revealed that EAK16-II and EAK16-IV were able to stabilize protonated ellipticine or ellipticine microcrystals depending on the peptide concentration; EFK16-II could stabilize neutral ellipticine molecules and ellipticine microcrystals.