An article recently published in the British Journal of Cancer by Dr. Ignacio Casal´s group at Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas (CSIC) describes the properties of a synthetic peptide as a blocking agent for interleukin-13 pro-metastatic activities. The peptide was able to reduce the metastatic spread of colorectal cancer and the growth of glioblastoma, a lethal brain tumor.
The peptide contains a sequence derived from IL13Rα2, an interleukin-13 receptor overexpressed in several cancer types, especially in colorectal cancer and glioblastoma multiforme. This receptor has a key relevance for metastasis and invasive growth in those cancers. The peptide was designed to mimic the region of IL13Rα2 which binds to interleukin-13; thus, sequestering this ligand and effectively turning inactive the IL13Rα2 receptor.
In fact, peptide treatment inhibited cell activation, migration, invasion and proliferation in metastatic colorectal and glioblastoma cancer cells. An enantiomer version of the peptide (named D-D1) showed a remarkable efficiency when administered in mice inoculated with cancer cells. Peptide administration inhibited liver metastasis of colon cancer cells and produced the arrest and shrinking of glioblastoma tumors.
In summary, this peptide is a promising therapeutic agent able to inhibit metastatic progression in colorectal cancer and, likely, other solid tumors as glioblastoma. A patent application has been filed to protect the peptide clinical applications.
Reference: An IL13Rα2 peptide exhibits therapeutic activity against metastatic colorectal cancer. Bartolomé RA, Jaén M, Casal JI (2018) Br J Cancer 119, 940-949.