Author(s): Parada C, Hernndez Losa J, Guinea J, SnchezArvalo V, Fernndez Soria V,
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Abstract Cancer gene therapy based on the use of suicide genes, such as the thymidine kinase gene, is not producing satisfactory results. Several approaches have been delineated to enhance the therapeutic responses, including augmentation of the bystander effect, the combination of the herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase-ganciclovir (HSVTK-GCV) system into replication competent adenoviruses and others. Moreover, because usually less than 20\% of human malignant cells are in S-phase, the HSVTK-GCV system is not as efficient as expected. To increase the cytotoxic effects of the HSVTK-GCV system, we hypothesized that concomitant expression of E1a protein, which drives cells to proliferation and S-phase, could increase the effects of the HSVTK-GCV system. Several retroviruses were constructed carrying bicistronic sequences of TK and E1a 12S genes under the control of the CMV promoter. The constructions were tested in murine (NIH-3T3, MSC11A5) and human cells (IMR90, HeLa, MDA-MB435). A clear increase of the HSVTK-GCV system killing effect in nonconfluent cells was observed in the cells studied, especially in NIH-3T3, MSC11A5, IMR90, and MDA-MB435 expressing cells. In confluence, the NIH3T3 and IMR90 E1a-TK-expressing cells were also very sensitive and most malignant E1a-TK-expressing cells showed an irreversible G2-M cell cycle arrest. Moreover, the concomitant expression of adenovirus E1a and the HSVTK-GCV system increased the sensitivity to anticancer agents such as cisplatin. These results show that adenovirus E1a protein expression clearly enhances the cytotoxic effects of the HSVTK-GCV system and the response to treatment with cisplatin.
This article was published in Cancer Gene Ther
and referenced in Journal of Carcinogenesis & Mutagenesis