Aug 11, 2004

Pteroyl-gamma-glutamate-cysteine synthesis and its application in folate receptor-mediated cancer cell targeting using folate-tethered liposomes

Analytical Biochemistry
Yonghua ZhangHiremagalur N Jayaram


Cell membrane-associated folate receptors are selectively overexpressed in certain human tumors. The high affinity of folic acid for folate receptors provides a unique opportunity to use folic acid as a targeting ligand to deliver chemotherapeutic agents to cancer cells. Folate-tethered liposomes bearing pteroyl-gamma-glutamate-cysteine-polyethylene glycol (PEG)-distearoylphosphatidylethanolamine (DSPE) as the targeting component are under investigation as mediators of drug and gene delivery to cancer cells that overexpress folate receptors. Pteroyl-gamma-glutamate-cysteine synthesis is one of the crucial starting steps in the preparation of pteroyl-gamma-glutamate-cysteine-PEG-DSPE. However, published methods for the synthesis of pteroyl-gamma-glutamate-cysteine provide low yields and are not easily reproducible. Therefore, we developed a modified synthetic method for the removal of the N(10)-trifluoroacetyl group after cleavage/deprotection that is reliable, is easily reproducible, and has high yield (38%) compared with an unreliable yield of 3-20% with the earlier methods. Folate-tethered liposomes containing calcein or doxorubicin were prepared using pteroyl-gamma-glutamate-cysteine-PEG-DSPE as the targeting component along...Continue Reading

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