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The Integrin αvβ6 Increases During the Pathogenesis of Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Lung

Identification of Cell-Specific Biomarkers

SRI’s Brown Laboratory is using selected peptides as “fishing hooks” to identify novel cell surface features.

SRI’s Brown Laboratory is utilizing selected peptides as “fishing hooks” to identify novel cell surface features. The cell specificity demonstrated by our cell-binding peptides indicates that they are recognizing distinct cell surface receptors that may be of clinical value.

While it is true that we can utilize the cell-targeting peptides for delivery without knowing their cellular targets, receptor identification is a critical component of our research. Identifying the receptor will yield important biological information about the status of the cell surface and how the cell surface topography changes during a disease process.

Further, identifying the cellular receptor is critical in terms of developing new diagnostic and targeting reagents. Antibodies can be generated to unique receptors and used as diagnostic and perhaps clinical reagents. Moreover, it will lead the way into developing non-peptidic targeting molecules. We are currently developing new chemical and molecular biology based technologies for the systematic isolation of the cellular target of the cell-homing peptides.

We have identified the receptor for one of the lung cancer targeting peptides as αvβ6. We have since shown that this integrin is up-regulated in lung cancer and is a marker for poor patient outcome. We are currently exploring the biological role that αvβ6 plays in lung cancer and exploiting this cell-surface biomarker for targeted delivery.

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R01CA164447. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.