Synthetic peptides for fighting metastasis related to the interleukin receptor IL13Rα2

The CSIC has developed a peptide capable of inhibiting the signaling of interleukin 13 mediated by the IL13Rα2 alpha receptor, one of the pathways that contribute metastasis according to recent studies. The synthetic peptide, alone or encapsulated, could be used for the control of metastasis of colon cancer and other tumours such as glioblastoma, as well as in pathologies such as asthma, atopic dermatitis or fibrosis, related to the same receptor, although more assays are required to confirm its efectivity in humans.

Interleukin 13 structure (wikipedia) Interleukin 13 is a protein synthesized by CD4 lymphocytes, NK and mast cells. When it binds to the alpha (α) 2 receptor of interleukin (IL13Rα2), which is in the cell membrane, it triggers different cell mechanisms that promote migration, invasion and survival of metastatic cells.

Several studies have shown that human interleukin 13 boost metastasis in colorectal cancer when it binds to the IL3Rα2 receptor. Therefore, blocking this receptor is one of the issues in the fight against cancer.

Researchers at the centre Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas of the CSIC have designed a peptide, a small protein, that inhibits IL13 / IL13Rα2 signaling. It does so by coupling and therefore blocking the alpha receptor, which in its turn prevents the interleukin 13 from binding and turning on the receptor.

The peptide can be transported into nanoparticles or viral particles, to be used in cancer control and metastasis when there is an overexpression of the IL13Rα2 receptor. This is the case of several types of human tumors such as glioblastoma, renal cell carcinoma, pancreatic, melanoma, head and neck, mesothelioma and ovarian cancer. In all these cases, the IL13Rα2 receptor has been proposed as a biomarker and a possible therapeutic target.

Peptides and derived pharmaceutical compositions can also be applied for other pathologies of high incidence and that are related to the same IL13Rα2 receptor, such as asthma, atopic dermatitis or fibrosis. The development has been patented and a license is offered now to companies interested in its development.

Dra. Marta García del Barrio
Responsible for Technology transfer in the CIB
Vicepresidencia Adjunta de

Transferencia de Conocimiento - CSIC
Tel.: + 34 – 91 8373112
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