Aberrant angiogenesis plays a large role in pathologies ranging from tumor growth to macular degeneration. Anti-angiogenic proteins have thus come under scrutiny as versatile, potent therapeutics but face problems with purification and tissue retention. We report here on the synthesis of supramolecular nanostructures that mimic the anti-angiogenic activity of maspin, a class II tumor suppressor protein. These maspin-mimetic nanostructures are formed via self-assembly of small peptide amphiphiles containing the g-helix motif of maspin. Using tubulogenesis assays with human umbilical vein endothelial cells, we demonstrate that maspin-mimetic nanostructures show anti-angiogenic activity at concentrations that are significantly lower than those necessary for the g-helix peptide. Furthermore, in vivo assays in the chick chorioallantoic membrane show maspin-mimetic nanostructures to be effective over controls at inhibiting angiogenesis. Thus, the nanostructures investigated here offer an attractive alternative to the use of anti-angiogenic recombinant proteins in the treatment of cancer or other diseases involving abnormal blood vessel formation.
- Peptide amphiphile