This study presents the early framework of selective cell tagging (SeCT) therapy, which is the concept of preferentially labeling specific cells in vivo with chemical moieties that can elicit a therapeutic response. Using glycosylated artificial metalloenzyme (GArM)-based protein labeling, this study reports two separate functional strategies. In one approach, early tumor onset can be suppressed by tagging cancer cells in living mice with an integrin-blocking cyclic-Arg-Gly-Asp (cRGD) moiety, thereby disrupting cell adhesion onto the extracellular matrix. In another approach, tumor growth in mice can be reduced by tagging with a cytotoxic doxorubicin moiety. Subsequent cell death occurs following internalization and drug release. Overall, experiments have shown that mouse populations receiving the mixture of SeCT labeling reagents exhibited a significant delay/reduction in tumor onset and growth compared with controls. Highlighting its adaptability, this work represents a foundational step for further development of SeCT therapy and its potential therapeutic applications.
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