Targeting of HER-2/neu with E1A gene therapy

Joe Yujiao Chang, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Amplification or overexpression of HER-2/neu has been demonstrated in human cancers of the ovary, breast, lung and correlated with chemoresistance and poor clinic prognosis. We have previously found that the adenovirus type 5 early region 1A (E1A) gene product can repress the overexpression and suppress the tumorigenic potential of HER-2/neu-overexpressing cancer cells. In addition, E1A has been reported to induce apoptosis and inhibit the metastatic potential of tumor cells. Therefore, E1A could be considered as a tumor suppressor gene in HER-2/neu-overexpressing cancer cells. To develop an efficient HER-2/neu-targeting gene therapy with E1A, adenoviral vector or cationic liposome was used to introduce E1A into human ovarian, breast and lung cancer cells. Successful therapeutic effects were achieved. A replication-deficient adenovirus containing the E1A gene, Ad.E1A(+), was used to infect HER-2/neu-overexpressing human ovarian cancer cell line. Ovarian cancer growth in vitro and colony formation in soft agarose were greatly inhibited. To examine tumor suppressor function of E1A in breast cancer, we introduced E1A in vitro by adenovirus into both HER-2/neu-overexpressing and low-expressing human breast cancer cell lines. In HER-2/neu-overexpressing cells, E1A greatly inhibited tumor cell growth in vitro and colony formation in soft agarose. However, in low HER-2/neu expressing cancer cell lines, E1A could only reduce colony formation in soft agarose but had no significant effect on cell growth in monolayer, indicating different effects of E1A in these two types of cancer cells. To test the local therapeutic efficacy of E1A, we used either adenovirus- or liposome-mediated E1A gene delivery systems in an orthotopic breast cancer animal model. To test the therapeutic efficacy of systemically-delivered E1A in vivo lung cancer, we treated mice bearing intratracheal lung cancer by i.v. tail injections of Ad.E1A(+). As a result, Ad.E1A(+) suppressed HER-2/neu overexpression and inhibited intratracheal lung cancer growth. However, no significant tumor suppression effect of Ad.E1A(+) was observed in mice bearing HER-2/neu low expressing cell line when the same therapeutic procedure was followed. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

Subject Area

Molecular biology|Oncology

Recommended Citation

Chang, Joe Yujiao, "Targeting of HER-2/neu with E1A gene therapy" (1997). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9732763.