Table of Contents
ISRN Oncology
Volume 2011, Article ID 140316, 10 pages
Research Article

Identification of HN-1-Peptide Target in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cells

1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Medical University Innsbruck, Anichstrasse 35, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
2Institute of Pharmacological Technology, Leopold-Franzens-University Innsbruck, Innrain 52, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria

Received 27 January 2011; Accepted 22 March 2011

Academic Editor: S. Chakrabarty

Copyright © 2011 Jozsef Dudas et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The HN-1 module was previously reported to ensure efficient targeting of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Aim of this work was to indentify the target of HN-1. Targeting of HN-1 peptide was compared in normal epithelial cells (BEAS-2B) and in HNSCC tumor cells (SCC-25 and Detroit 562). Experimental, cell culture, cell polarity, and adhesion conditions were tested; structure models of peptides were created. Indeed, HN-1 was able to target HNSCC tumor cells in the previously published conditions. The targeting efficiency of immortalized normal epithelial cells was significantly lower. Nevertheless, in other experimental conditions the binding was less efficient and not specific. A scrambled sequence of HN-1, with altered order of amino acids showed even better targeting efficiency than HN-1. HN-1 was only uptaken in adherent cells, not in suspension. In conclusion, HN-1-peptide-targeting is not based on sequence specificity, but more on electrostatic interactions with the cell surface of the tumor cells.