Monomethyl auristatin E (MMAE) is conjugated with TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) via a linker that is stable in extracellular fluid, while it is cleaved by cathepsin once the conjugate has entered a tumor cell, thus activating the antimitotic mechanism of MMAE. The TRAIL-MMAE conjugate is a conceptually viable therapeutic strategy with improved in vitro antitumor activity, cell circle arrest and specific accumulation in tumor to treat TRAIL-resistant tumors.
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