A 12-mer amino acid peptide SATTHYRLQAAN, denominated TK4, was isolated from a phage-display library with fibrosarcoma tumor-binding activity. In vivo biodistribution analysis of TK4-displaying phage showed a significant increased phage titer in implanted tumor up to 10-fold in comparison with normal tissues after systemic administration in mouse. Competition assay confirmed that the binding of TK4-phage to tumor cells depends on the TK4 peptide. Intravenous injection of 131I-labeled synthetic TK4 peptide in mice showed a tumor retention of 3.3% and 2.7%ID/g at 1- and 4-hour postinjection, respectively. Tumor-to-muscle ratio was 1.1, 5.7, and 3.2 at 1-, 4-, and 24-hour, respectively, and tumors were imaged on a digital -camera at 4-hour postinjection. The present data suggest that TK4 holds promise as a lead structure for tumor targeting, and it could be further applied in the development of diagnostic or therapeutic agent.
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