Augmenting the antitumor effect of TRAIL by SOCS3 with double-regulated replicating oncolytic adenovirus in hepatocellular carcinoma

Rui-Cheng Wei, Xin Cao, Jing-Hua Gui, Xiu-Mei Zhou, Dan Zhong, Qiao-Lin Yan, Wei-Dan Huang, Qi-Jun Qian, Feng-Li Zhao, Xin-Yuan Liu
Human Gene Therapy 2011, 22 (9): 1109-19
Aberrant JAK/STAT3 pathway has been reported to be related to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in many cell lines. In this study, a double-regulated oncolytic adenovirus vector that can replicate and induce a cytopathic effect in alpha-fetoprotein (AFP)-positive HCC cell lines with p53 dysfunction was successfully constructed. Two therapeutic genes, suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3) and tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), were chosen and incorporated into this vector system, respectively. The combined treatment of AFP-D55-SOCS3 and AFP-D55-TRAIL (2:3 ratio) exhibited potent antitumor activity in AFP-positive HCC cell lines compared with any other treatment both in vitro and in vivo. Specific replication and low progeny yield in AFP-positive HCC cell lines rendered these double-regulated oncolytic adenoviruses remarkably safe. Our data demonstrated that restoration of SOCS3, which inhibits the JAK/STAT3 pathway, by AFP-D55-SOCS3 not only could antagonize HCC therapeutic resistance to TRAIL and adenoviruses, but could also induce cell cycle arrest in HCC cell lines. SOCS3 could down-regulate Cyclin D1 and anti-apoptotic proteins such as XIAP, Survivin, Bcl-xL, and Mcl-1, which are responsible for the synergistic inhibitory effects of AFP-D55-SOCS3 and AFP-D55-TRAIL. Dual gene and double-regulated oncolytic adenoviruses may provide safety and excellent antitumor effects for liver cancer, which is the advantage of a cancer-targeting gene virotherapy strategy.

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