MDM2 protein variants expression in the plasma membrane of cancer cells: A target for anticancer peptide PNC-27
PNC-27 anti-cancer peptide, derived from the MDM2 binding site of p53 and linked to a membrane residency peptide (MRP), has been shown to cause necrosis of cancer cells without affecting untransformed cells. PNC-27 was also able to eradicate pancreatic tumor xenografts in mice (Michl et al, Int. J of Cancer, 2006). Recently, we have identified the mechanism of action of this peptide as due to formation of oligomeric pores in the plasma membrane (PM) of cancer cells but not in the PM of untransformed cells. The mechanism of pore-formation by PNC-27 closely resembles the pore-formation process by streptolysin-O, melittin and similar pore-forming agents. We have shown MDM2 as a targeting molecule that leads to PNC-27 selectivity towards cancer cells by its mis-localization to cancer cell PM (Sarafraz-Yazdi et al, PNAS, in press).