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A Near-Infrared Peptide Probe with Tumor-Specific Excretion-Retarded Effect for Image-Guided Surgery of Renal Cell Carcinoma

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journal contribution
posted on 16.01.2020, 22:17 by Hong-Wei An, Dayong Hou, Rui Zheng, Man-Di Wang, Xiang-Zhong Zeng, Wu-Yi Xiao, Tong-Da Yan, Jia-Qi Wang, Chang-Hao Zhao, Li-Ming Cheng, Jin-Ming Zhang, Lu Wang, Zi-Qi Wang, Hao Wang, Wanhai Xu
Image-guided surgery plays a crucial role in realizing complete tumor removal, reducing postoperative recurrence and increasing patient survival. However, imaging of tumor lesion in the typical metabolic organs, e.g., kidney and liver, still has great challenges due to the intrinsic nonspecific accumulation of imaging probes in those organs. Herein, we report an in situ self-assembled near-infrared (NIR) peptide probe with tumor-specific excretion-retarded (TER) effect in tumor lesions, enabling high-performance imaging of human renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and achieving complete tumor removal, ultimately reducing postoperative recurrence. The NIR peptide probe first specifically recognizes αvβ3 integrin overexpressed in renal cancer cells, then is cleaved by MMP-2/9, which is up-regulated in the tumor microenvironment. The probe residue spontaneously self-assembles into nanofibers that exhibit an excretion-retarded effect in the kidney, which contributes to a high signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio in orthotopic RCC mice. Intriguingly, the TER effect also enables precisely identifying eye-invisible tiny lesions (<1 mm), which contributes to complete tumor removal and significantly reduces the postoperative recurrence compared with traditional surgery. Finally, the TER strategy is successfully employed in high-performance identification of human RCC in an ex vivo kidney perfusion model. Taken together, this NIR peptide probe based on the TER strategy is a promising method for detecting tumors in metabolic organs in diverse biomedical applications.