Experimental studies on PNP suicide gene therapy of hepatoma

Xiaokun Cai, Junli Zhou, Jusheng Lin, Xuemei Sun, Xiulan Xue, Chao Li
Journal of Huazhong University of Science and Technology. Medical Sciences 2005, 25 (2): 178-81
To investigate the killing effect of PNP/MeP-dR suicide gene system on hepatoma cells, pcDNA3.0/PNP, an eukaryotic expression vector harboring E. coli PNP gene, was transfected into human hepatoma HepG2 cells by liposome-mediated method. A HepG2 cell line with stable PNP gene expression, HepG2/PNP, was established with presence of G418 selection. The cell growth curves were determined with trypan blue staining. The sensitivity of HepG2/PNP to MeP-dR and bystander effects were assayed by MTT and FCM methods. The enzymatic activity of the product of PNP gene was determined by HPLC method. The cytotoxic effects of MeP-dR on HepG2/PNP cells were obvious (IC50 = 4.5 micromol/L) and all HepG2/PNP cells were killed 4 days after the treatment with 100 micromol/L MeP-dR. In mixed cultures containing increasing percentages of HepG2/PNP cells, total population killing was demonstrated when HepG2/PNP cells accounted for as few as 5% of all HepG2 cells 8 days after the treatment with 100 micromol MeP-dR. High-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) demonstrated that the PNP enzyme could convert MeP-dR into 6-MP. PNP/MeP-dR suicide gene system had an advantage over traditional suicide gene systems for hepatoma gene therapy. Our e results suggest that high-level bystander effects of this system result in significant anti-tumor responses to hepatoma gene therapy, especially in vivo.

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