DOTAM derivatives as active cartilage-targeting drug carriers for the treatment of osteoarthritis.
Hu HY., Lim NH., Ding-Pfennigdorff D., Saas J., Wendt KU., Ritzeler O., Nagase H., Plettenburg O., Schultz C., Nazare M.
Targeted drug-delivery methods are crucial for effective treatment of degenerative joint diseases such as osteoarthritis (OA). Toward this goal, we developed a small multivalent structure as a model drug for the attenuation of cartilage degradation. The DOTAM (1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7,10-tetraacetic acid amide)-based model structure is equipped with the cathepsin D protease inhibitor pepstatin A, a fluorophore, and peptide moieties targeting collagen II. In vivo injection of these soluble probes into the knee joints of mice resulted in 7-day-long local retention, while the drug carrier equipped with a scrambled peptide sequence was washed away within 6-8 h. The model drug conjugate successfully reduced the cathepsin D protease activity as measured by release of GAG peptide. Therefore, these conjugates represent a promising first drug conjugate for the targeted treatment of degenerative joint diseases.