Endometriosis is a common gynaecological disease associated with pelvic pain and infertility. Current treatments include oral contraceptives combined with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or surgery to remove lesions, all of which provide a temporary but not complete cure. Here we identify an endometriosis-targeting peptide that is internalized by cells, designated z13, using phage display. As most endometriosis occurs on organ surfaces facing the peritoneum, we subtracted a phage display library with female mouse peritoneum tissue and selected phage clones by binding to human endometrial epithelial cells. Proteomics analysis revealed the z13 receptor as the cyclic nucleotide-gated channel β3, a sorting pathway protein. We then linked z13 with an apoptosis-inducing peptide and with an endosome-escaping peptide. When these peptides were co-administered into the peritoneum of baboons with endometriosis, cells in lesions selectively underwent apoptosis with no effect on neighbouring organs. Thus, this study presents a strategy that could be useful to treat peritoneal endometriosis in humans.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)