In vitro imaging and quantification of the drug targeting efficiency of fluorescently labeled GnRH analogues

József Murányi, Attila Varga, Bianka Gurbi, P. Gyulavári, Gábor Mező, Tibor Vántus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


GnRH analogues are effective targeting moieties and able to deliver anticancer agents selectively into malignant tumor cells which highly express GnRH receptors. However, the quantitative analysis of GnRH analogues’ cellular uptake and the investigated cell types in GnRH-based drug delivery systems are currently limited. Previously introduced, selectively labeled fluorescent GnRH I, -II and -III derivatives provide great detectability, and they have suitable chemical properties for reproducible and robust experiments. We also found that the appropriate up-to-date methods with these labeled GnRH analogues could offer novel information about the GnRH-based drug delivery systems. This manuscript introduces some simple and fast experiments regarding the cellular uptake of [D-Lys6(FITC)]-GnRH-I, [D-Lys6(FITC)]-GnRH-II and [Lys8(FITC)]-GnRH-III on the EBC-1 (lung), the BxPC-3 (pancreas) and on the Detroit-562- (pharynx) malignant tumor cells. In parallel with these GnRH-FITC conjugates, the cell surface level of GnRH-I receptors was also examined on these cell lines before and after the GnRH treatment by confocal laser scanning microscopy. The cellular uptake of GnRH-FITC conjugates was quantified by fluorescence-activated cell sorting. In these experiments minor differences among GnRH analogues and major differences among cell types was observed. The significant differences among cell lines are correlated with their distinct level of cell surface GnRH-I receptors. The introduced experiments contain practical methods to visualize, quantify and compare the uptake efficiency of GnRH-FITC conjugates in a time- and concentration-dependent manner on various adherent cell cultures. These results could predict the drug targeting efficiency of GnRH conjugates on the given cell culture, and offer a good basis for further experiments in the examination of GnRH-based drug delivery systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere55529
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number121
Publication statusPublished - Mar 21 2017


  • CLSM
  • Cancer
  • Cancer research
  • Confocal microscopy
  • Conjugate
  • FACS
  • FITC
  • GnRH
  • Issue 121
  • Targeted therapy
  • Tumor cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)

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