Newly synthesized methionine aminopeptidase 2 inhibitor hinders tumor growth

Rawnaq Esa, Eliana Steinberg, Arie Dagan, Zhanna Yekhtin, Katerina Tischenko, Ofra Benny*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Methionine aminopeptidase 2 (MetAp2) inhibition has been recognized as a promising approach for suppressing angiogenesis and cancer progression. Small molecule fumagillol derivatives with adamantane side groups were synthesized and evaluated for MetAp2 inhibition activity, and a lead molecule with superior abilities to inhibit the enzymatic activity of MetAp2 was identified. The compound, referred to as AD-3281, effectively suppressed proliferation of cancer and endothelial cells and impaired tube formation of endothelial cells in vitro. When administered systemically, AD-3281 was well tolerated and led to a significant suppression of human melanoma and mammary tumor xenografts grown in mice. The activity in vivo was associated with reduced angiogenesis and tumor proliferation as detected histologically. In order to develop a formulation that can solubilize AD-3281 with a minimal content of organic solvents, biodegradable nanoparticles comprised of poly-lactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) were fabricated and characterized. Compared with the free compound, AD-3281-loaded nanoparticles showed an advantageous cellular availability and uptake, leading to higher activity in cells and better transport in three-dimensional (3D) cultures. Taken together, we introduce a novel MetAp2 inhibitor with high anti-cancer activity and a stable nano-formulation with a high potential for future clinical translation. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1170-1182
Number of pages13
JournalDrug Delivery and Translational Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2023

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  • AD-3281
  • Angiogenesis
  • MetAp2
  • PLGA nanoparticles
  • Small molecule


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