Generation of an hTERT-restricted, CMV-augmented oncolytic adenovirus capable of tumor-specific transgene expression: Development, characterization, and optimization
Current shortcomings in cancer therapy require the generation of new, broadly applicable, potent, targeted treatments. Here, an adenovirus is engineered to replicate specifically in cells with active human telomerase promotion using a modified hTERT promoter, fused to a CMV promoter element. The virus was also modified to contain a visible reporter transgene, GFP. The virus, Ad/hTC-GFP-E1 was characterized in vitro and demonstrated tumor specific activity both by dose and over time course experiments in a variety of cell lines. In vivo, Ad/hTC-GFP-E1 was affected at suppressing tumor growth and providing a survival benefit without causing any measurable toxicity. To increase the host range of the vector, the fiber region was modified to contain an RGD-motif. The vector, AdRGD/hTC-GFP-E1, was recharacterized in vitro, revealing heightened levels of infectivity and toxicity however maintaining a therapeutic window between cancer and normal cell toxicity. AdRGD/hTC-GFP-E1 was administered in vivo by limb perfusion and was observed to be tumor specific both in expression and replication. To further enhance the efficacy of viral vectors in lung delivery, asthma medications were investigated for their abilities to enhance transgene delivery and expression. A combination of bronchodilators, mast cell inhibitors, and mucolytic agents was devised which demonstrated fold increases in expression in immunocompetent mouse lungs as single agents and more homogenous, intense levels of expression when done in combination of all agents. To characterize the methods in which some cancers are resistant or may become resistant to oncolytic treatments, several small molecule inhibitors of metabolic pathways were applied in combination with oncolytic infection in vitro. SP600125 and PD 98059, respective JNK and ERK inhibitors, successfully suppressed oncolytic toxicity, however did not affect infectivity or transgene expression of Ad/hTC-GFP-E1. JNK and ERK inhibition did significantly suppress viral replication, however, as analyzed by lysate transfer and titration assays. In contrast, SB 203580, an inhibitor for p38, did not demonstrate any protective effects with infected cells. Flow cytometric analysis indicated a possible correlation with G1 arrest and suppressed viral production, however more compounds must be investigated to clarify this observation.
Davis, John Joseph, "Generation of an hTERT-restricted, CMV-augmented oncolytic adenovirus capable of tumor-specific transgene expression: Development, characterization, and optimization" (2006). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3218712.