Growth inhibition of human multiple myeloma cells by an oncolytic adenovirus carrying the CD40 ligand transgene

Margret S Fernandes, Erica M Gomes, Lindsay D Butcher, Reuben Hernandez-Alcoceba, Dongkun Chang, Joe Kansopon, Joseph Newman, Marvin J Stone, Alex W Tong
Clinical Cancer Research 2009 August 1, 15 (15): 4847-56

PURPOSE: The growth-inhibitory activity of recombinant CD40 ligand (CD40L) is well documented in human multiple myeloma (MM). We examined MM-targeted delivery of CD40L by a conditional replicative oncolytic adenovirus, AdEHCD40L.

EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: The growth-regulatory activity of AdEHCD40L was determined in vitro and in vivo. Differential analysis with AdEHCD40L and parental virus (AdEHNull)-infected cultures allowed the identification of cellular and molecular pathways modulated by the CD40L transgene.

RESULTS: Conditional expression of viral E1A and CD40L transgene was shown in human MM lines RPMI 8226 [interleukin (IL)-6 independent] and Kas-6/1 (IL-6 dependent) under hypoxic conditions commonly found in MM in situ. AdEHCD40L inhibited MM cell growth more effectively than AdEHNull. This enhanced growth-inhibitory activity was abrogated by cotreatment with a CD40L antibody. Chemoresistant MM lines (MR20 and LR5) were similarly susceptible to AdEHCD40L treatment. AdEHCD40L induced apoptosis and S-phase cell cycle blockade while uniquely up-regulating the previously described proapoptotic elements tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand, Fas, and IL-8. Intratumoral injections of AdEHCD40L reduced the growth of severe combined immunodeficient/hu RPMI 8226 xenografts by >50% compared with 28% reduction by AdEHNull. Adenoviral hexon and CD40L were detected in AdEHCD40L-treated tumors at day 35 after infection primarily in necrotic areas, suggesting viral replicative activity.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings show that CD40L acts in concert with viral oncolysis to produce MM growth inhibition through activation of cellular apoptosis. The direct growth-inhibitory activity of AdEHCD40L, together with the well-known immune-potentiating features of CD40L, may be clinically applicable for the experimental treatment of MM or plasma cell leukemia.

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