Synergistic antitumor activity of triple-regulated oncolytic adenovirus with VSTM1 and daunorubicin in leukemic cells

Jiao Zhou, Qiu-Mei Yao, Jin-Lan Li, Yan Chang, Ting Li, Wen-Ling Han, Hong-Ping Wu, Lin-Fang Li, Qi-Jun Qian, Guo-Rui Ruan
Apoptosis: An International Journal on Programmed Cell Death 2016, 21 (10): 1179-90
V-set and transmembrane domain-containing 1 (VSTM1), which is downregulated in bone marrow cells from leukemia patients, may provide a diagnostic and treatment target. Here, a triple-regulated oncolytic adenovirus was constructed to carry a VSTM1 gene expression cassette, SG611-VSTM1, and contained the E1a gene with a 24-nucleotide deletion within the CR2 region under control of the human telomerase reverse transcriptase promoter, E1b gene directed by the hypoxia response element, and VSTM1 gene controlled by the cytomegalovirus promoter. Real-time quantitative PCR and Western blot analyses showed that SG611-VSTM1 expressed VSTM1 highly efficiently in the human leukemic cell line K562 compared with SG611. In Cell Counting Kit-8 and flow cytometric assays, SG611-VSTM1 exhibited more potent anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects in leukemic cells compared with SG611 and exerted synergistic cytotoxicity with low-dose daunorubicin (DNR) in vitro. In xenograft models, SG611-VSTM1 intratumorally injected at a dose of 1 × 10(9) plaque forming units combined with intraperitoneally injected low-dose DNR displayed significantly stronger antitumor effects than either treatment alone. Histopathologic examination revealed that SG611-VSTM1 induced apoptosis of leukemic cells. These results implicate an important role for VSTM1 in the pathogenesis of leukemia, and SG611-VSTM1 may be a promising agent for enhancing chemosensitivity in leukemia therapy.

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