Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) is a recognized growth factor affecting many cell types. We have previously developed a series of lipophilic VIP analogues containing an N-terminal covalently attached stearyl moiety. The current studies identified stearyl-Nle17-VIP and stearyl-Nle17-neurotensin6-11VIP7-28, acting at μM concentrations, as cytotoxic to human keratinocytes. The core C-terminal active VIP-derived peptide, stearyl-Lys-Lys-Tyr-Leu-NH2 (St-KKYL-NH2), was identified as being responsible for the observed cytotoxicity. Cytotoxicity coincided with marked reduction in intracellular cyclic GMP and was abolished by co-treatment with the endonuclease inhibitor, aurine-tricarboxylic acid, suggesting apoptotic mechanisms. Stearyl-VIP derivatives thus offer lead compounds for future drug development against hyperproliferative skin conditions. Copyright (C) 2000 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.
- Aurine-tricarboxylic acid
- Keratinocyte cytotoxicity
- Lipophilic peptide
- Vasoactive intestinal peptide