Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Poly-[N-(2-hydroxyethyl)-L-glutamine] (PHEG) and poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-grafted PHEG conjugates of N,N-di(2-chloroethyl)-4-phenylenediamine mustard (PDM) were synthetised. A collagenase-sensitive oligopeptide spacer was selected to link the cytotoxic agent PDM onto the polymeric carrier. First, the oligopeptide-drug conjugate, L-pro-L-leu-gly-L-pro-gly-PDM, was prepared. In a second step, the low molecular weight PDM derivative and PEG-NH(2) were coupled to a N,N-disuccinimidylcarbonate activated PHEG. Dynamic laser light scattering measurements indicated the formation of aggregates. The presence of human serum albumin had no significant effect on the diameter of the conjugates. The hydrolytic stability of the conjugates was investigated in buffer solutions. The conjugates showed an improved stability compared to the parent nitrogen mustard. The enzymatic degradation studies of the polymeric conjugates were performed in the presence of collagenase type IV (Clostridiopeptidase A; EC, cathepsin B (EC, cathepsin D (EC and tritosomes. Only the bacterial collagenase type IV was able to cleave the spacer releasing free PDM and its peptidyl derivative, gly-L-pro-gly-PDM. The in vitro cytotoxicity of the conjugates was evaluated against HT1080 fibrosarcoma cells and MDA adenocarcinoma cells. All conjugates showed low toxicity towards these cell lines.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Pharm Sci

Publication Date





159 - 168


Animals, Antineoplastic Agents, Cattle, Cell Line, Tumor, Cell Survival, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Humans, Macromolecular Substances, Nitrogen Mustard Compounds