Author(s): Thomas MA, Broughton RS, Goodrum FD, Ornelles DA
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Abstract Clinical trials have shown oncolytic adenoviruses to be tumor selective with minimal toxicity toward normal tissue. The virus ONYX-015, in which the gene encoding the early region 1B 55-kDa (E1B-55K) protein is deleted, has been most effective when used in combination with either chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Therefore, improving the oncolytic nature of tumor-selective adenoviruses remains an important objective for improving this form of cancer therapy. Cells infected during the G(1) phase of the cell cycle with the E1B-55K deletion mutant virus exhibit a reduced rate of viral late protein synthesis, produce fewer viral progeny, and are less efficiently killed than cells infected during the S phase. Here we demonstrate that the G(1) restriction imposed on the E1B-55K deletion mutant virus is due to the viral oncogene encoded by open reading frame 1 of early region 4 (E4orf1). E4orf1 has been reported to signal through the phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinase pathway leading to the activation of Akt, mTOR, and p70 S6K. Evidence presented here shows that E4orf1 may also induce the phosphorylation of Akt and p70 S6K in a manner that depends on Rac1 and its guanine nucleotide exchange factor Tiam1. Accordingly, agents that have been reported to disrupt the Tiam1-Rac1 interaction or to prevent phosphorylation of the ribosomal S6 kinase partially alleviated the E4orf1 restriction to late viral protein synthesis and enhanced tumor cell killing by the E1B-55K mutant virus. These results demonstrate that E4orf1 limits the oncolytic nature of a conditionally replicating adenovirus such as ONYX-015. The therapeutic value of similar oncolytic adenoviruses may be improved by abrogating E4orf1 function.
This article was published in J Virol
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