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Institute for Commercialization

A Novel Fusion Peptide with Potent Anti-Cancer Effects

Reference Number: K 11-06

Inventors: Troyer, Deryl; Seo, Gwi-Moon; Shrestha, Tej; Basel, Matthew; Bossmann, Stefan

Owner: Kansas State University Research Foundation


Invention Summary

Targeted, highly effective cancer therapies are highly sought out, especially with treatments such as pancreatic cancer treatments having limited improvements in the last forty years. F3 peptides are widely used as a cancer specific targeting peptide since it binds to nucleolin (abundantly expressed acidic phosphoprotein). Nucleolin is advantageous because it can be found in vast amounts on the surfaces of cancerous cells and cancer endothelial cells, but is not present in significant amounts on normal cell surfaces. Additionally, Saporin is a small protein that inhibits ribosomes, making the compound very toxic. However, Saporin must be internalized by cells to be toxic.

With these challenges and known facts in mind, researchers at Kansas State University have developed a new synthetic DNA for targeting and destroying cancerous cells. The DNA is encoded with the F3 peptide fused to the saporin protein along with a signal sequence, which results in secretion. This technique harnesses the advantages of both the F3 peptides and the Saporin protein by utilizing their respective strengths in order to limit weaknesses. The protein could be delivered by a targeting nanoparticle or as a next generation approach, tumor-seeking cells can be engineered to deliver the protein to tumors.


  • The F3 peptide binds specifically to tumor cells
  • Saporin is harmless unless it gets into cells
  • Tremendous improvement of minimizing off-target effects
  • Tumor-homing cells preferentially migrate into tumors


  • Development as a stealth system to deliver a novel fusion protein that will target cancer cells and destroy them
  • The secreted fusion protein could be concentrated and delivered to tumors via targeting nanoparticles to expedite translation to human trials.
  • F3 peptide could be used as a transporter for other potent anti-cancer treatments