[Adenovirus-mediated double suicide gene selectively kills breast cancer MCF-7 cells in vitro]

Heng Kong, Zong-Hai Huang, Qiang Li, Liu-Cheng Yang, Jin-Long Yu, Zhou Li
Nan Fang Yi Ke da Xue Xue Bao, Journal of Southern Medical University 2008, 28 (6): 907-10

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of adenovirus-mediated double suicide gene (CD/TK) for selective killing of breast cancer cells.

METHODS: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-expressing MCF-7 cells and normal human mammary epithelial cells that did not express VEGF were infected with the adenovirus containing VEGFP-CD/TK-GFP genes. CD/TK gene expression in the infected cells was detected by RT-PCR. After treatment of the infected cells with GCV and/or 5-FC, the cell growth status was evaluated using MTT assay, and the cell cycle changes were detected with flow cytometry. In nude mice bearing human breast cancer, the recombinant adenovirus vector was injected directly into the tumor followed by intraperitoneal injection of the prodrugs GCV and/or 5-FC, and the subsequent tumor growth was observed.

RESULTS: The recombinant adenovirus achieved similar infection rates in MCF-7 and human mammary epithelial cells, and the rates increased gradually with the multiplicity of infection (MOI) of the virus. RT-PCR demonstrated the presence of CD/TK gene product in infected MCF-7 cells, but not in the infected mammary epithelial cells. The infected MCF-7 cells, but not the mammary epithelial cells, were highly sensitive to the pro-drugs. The CD/TK fusion gene system showed significantly greater efficiency than either of the single suicide gene in killing the target cells (P<0.01). At the MOI of 100, treatment of the infected cells with the pro-drugs resulted in increased cell percentage in G(0)-G(1) phase and decreased percentage in S phase. In nude mice bearing MCF-7 cell-derived subcutaneous tumor, treatment with the double suicide gene system significantly inhibited the tumor growth, showing much stronger effect than either of the single suicide gene (P<0.01).

CONCLUSION: The adenovirus-mediated CD/TK double suicide gene driven by VEGF promoter combined with GCV and 5-FC treatment can be an effective therapy against experimental breast cancer, and produces much greater efficacy than the single suicide gene CD/TK combined with GCV or 5-FC.

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