Evidence from preclinical and animal studies demonstrated an anticancer effect of flaxseed lignans, particularly enterolactone (ENL), against prostate cancer. However, extensive first-pass metabolism following oral lignan consumption results in their systemic availability primarily as glucuronic acid conjugates (ENL-Gluc) and their modest in vivo effects. To overcome the unfavorable pharmacokinetics and improve their effectiveness in prostate cancer, antibody-directed enzyme prodrug therapy (ADEPT) might offer a novel strategy to allow for restricted activation of ENL from circulating ENL-Gluc within the tumor environment. The anti-prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) antibody D7 was fused with human β-glucuronidase (hβG) via a flexible linker. The binding property of the fusion construct, D7-hβG, against purified or cell surface PSMA was determined by flow cytometry and Octet Red 384 system, respectively, with a binding rate constant, K d, of 2.5 nM. The enzymatic activity of D7-hβG was first tested using the probe, 4-methylumbelliferone glucuronide. A 3.8-fold greater fluorescence intensity was observed at pH 4.5 at 2 h compared with pH 7.4. The ability of D7-hβG to activate ENL from ENL-Gluc was tested and detected using LC-MS/MS. Enhanced generation of ENL was observed with increasing ENL-Gluc concentrations and reached 3613.2 ng/mL following incubation with 100 μM ENL-Gluc at pH 4.5 for 0.5 h. D7-hβG also decreased docetaxel IC50 value from 23 nM to 14.9 nM in C4-2 cells. These results confirmed the binding and activity of D7-hβG and additional in vitro investigation is needed to support the future possibility of introducing this ADEPT system to animal models.
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