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Antitumor Activity of a Mesenchymal Stem Cell Line Stably Secreting a Tumor-Targeted TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand Fusion Protein

Irene Marini, Martin Siegemund, Meike Hutt, Roland E Kontermann, Klaus Pfizenmaier
Frontiers in Immunology 2017, 8: 536
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are currently exploited as gene delivery systems for transient in situ expression of cancer therapeutics. As an alternative to the prevailing viral expression, we here describe a murine MSC line stably expressing a therapeutic protein for up to 42 passages, yet fully maintaining MSC features. Because of superior antitumoral activity of hexavalent TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) formats and the advantage of a tumor-targeted action, we choose expression of a dimeric EGFR-specific diabody single-chain TRAIL (Db-scTRAIL) as a model. The bioactivity of Db-scTRAIL produced from an isolated clone (MSC.TRAIL) was revealed from cell death induction in Colo205 cells treated with either culture supernatants from or cocultured with MSC.TRAIL. In vivo, therapeutic activity of MSC.TRAIL was shown upon peritumoral injection in a Colo205 xenograft tumor model. Best antitumor activity in vitro and in vivo was observed upon combined treatment of MSC.TRAIL with bortezomib. Importantly, in vivo combination treatment did not cause apparent hepatotoxicity, weight loss, or behavioral changes. The development of well characterized stocks of stable drug-producing human MSC lines has the potential to establish standardized protocols of cell-based therapy broadly applicable in cancer treatment.


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