The novel cytokine melanoma differentiation associated gene-7 (mda-7) was identified by subtractive hybridization in the mid-1990s as a protein whose expression increased during the induction of terminal differentiation, and that was either not expressed or was present at low levels in tumor cells compared to non-transformed cells. Based on conserved structure, chromosomal location and cytokine-like properties, MDA-7, has now been classified as a member of the expanding interleukin (IL)-10 gene family and designated as MDA-7/IL-24. Multiple studies have demonstrated that expression of MDA-7/IL-24 in a wide variety of tumor cell types, but not in corresponding equivalent non-transformed cells, causes their growth arrest and ultimately cell death. In addition, MDA-7/IL-24 has been noted to be a radiosensitizing cytokine, which in part is due to the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and ceramide that cause endoplasmic reticulum stress. Phase I clinical trial data has shown that a recombinant adenovirus expressing MDA-7/IL-24 (Ad.mda-7 (INGN-241)) was safe and had measurable tumoricidal effects in over 40% of patients, which strongly argues that MDA-7/IL-24 may have significant therapeutic value. This review describes what is known about the impact of MDA-7/IL-24 on tumor cell biology and its potential therapeutic applications.
MDA-7: melanoma differentiation associated gene 7
Melanoma differentiation associated gene-7(mda-7) encodes IL-24, a cytokine that can selectively trigger apoptosis in transformed cells. Recombinant mda-7 adenovirus (Ad.mda-7) effectively kills glioma cells, offering a novel gene therapy strategy to address deadly brain tumors. In this study, we defined the proximal mechanisms by which Ad-mda-7 kills glioma cells. Key factors implicated included activation of the endoplasmic reticulum stress kinase protein kinase R–like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK), Ca++ elevation, ceramide generation and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. PERK inhibition blocked ceramide or dihydroceramide generation, which were critical for Ca++ induction and subsequent ROS formation. Activation of autophagy and cell death relied upon ROS formation, the inhibition of which ablated Ad.mda-7–killing activity. In contrast, inhibiting TRX induced by Ad.MDA-7 enhanced tumor cytotoxicity and improved animal survival in an orthotopic tumor model. Our findings indicate that mda-7/IL-24 induces an endoplasmic reticulum stress response that triggers production of ceramide, Ca2+, and ROS, which in turn promote glioma cell autophagy and cell death.
A potentially less toxic approach for cancer therapy comprises induction of tumor cells to lose growth potential irreversibly and terminally differentiate. Combining this scheme termed ‘differentiation therapy of cancer’ with subtraction hybridization to human melanoma cells resulted in the cloning of melanoma differentiation associated (mda) genes displaying elevated expression as a consequence of induction of terminal differentiation. One originally novel gene, mda-7, was found to display elevated expression in normal melanocytes and nevi with progressive loss of expression as a consequence of melanoma development and progression to metastasis. Based on structure, biochemical properties and chromosomal location, mda-7 has now been reclassified as interleukin (IL)-24 a member of the expanding IL-10 family of cytokines. In vitro cell culture and in vivo animal studies indicate that mda-7/IL-24 selectively induces programmed cell death (apoptosis) in multiple human cancers (including melanomas), without harming normal cells, and promotes profound anti-tumor activity in nude mice containing human tumor xenografts. Based on these remarkable properties, a Phase I Clinical trial was conducted to test the safety of administration of mda-7/IL-24 by a replication incompetent adenovirus (Ad.mda-7; INGN 241) in patients with advanced solid cancers including melanoma. mda-7/IL-24 was found to be safe and to promote significant clinical activity, particularly in the context of patients with metastatic melanoma. These results provide an impetus for further clinical studies, and document a central paradigm of cancer therapy, namely translation of basic science from the “bench to the bedside.”
mda-7/IL-24; apoptosis; metastatic melanoma; Phase I Clinical Trial
Melanoma differentiation associated gene-7/interleukin-24 (mda-7/IL-24) is a novel cytokine displaying selective apoptosis-inducing activity in transformed cells without harming normal cells. The present studies focused on clarifying the mechanism(s) by which glutathione S-transferase (GST)-MDA-7 altered cell survival of human renal carcinoma cells in vitro. GST-MDA-7 caused plasma membrane clustering of CD95 and the association of CD95 with procaspase-8. GST-MDA-7 lethality was suppressed by inhibition of caspase-8 or by overexpression of short-form cellular FLICE inhibitory protein, but only weakly by inhibition of cathepsin proteases. GST-MDA-7–induced CD95 clustering (and apoptosis) was blocked by knockdown of acidic sphingomyelinase or, to a greater extent, ceramide synthase-6 expression. GST-MDA-7 killing was, in parallel, dependent on inactivation of extracellular signal–regulated kinase 1/2 and on CD95-induced p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and c-jun NH2-terminal kinase-1/2 signaling. Knockdown of CD95 expression abolished GST-MDA-7–induced phosphorylation of protein kinase R–like endoplasmic reticulum kinase. GST-MDA-7 lethality was suppressed by knockout or expression of a dominant negative protein kinase R–like endoplasmic reticulum kinase that correlated with reduced c-jun NH2-terminal kinase-1/2 and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling and maintained extracellular signal–regulated kinase-1/2 phosphorylation. GST-MDA-7 caused vacuolization of LC3 through a mechanism that was largely CD95 dependent and whose formation was suppressed by knockdown of ATG5 expression. Knockdown of ATG5 suppressed GST-MDA-7 toxicity. Our data show that in kidney cancer cells GST-MDA-7 induces ceramide-dependent activation of CD95, which is causal in promoting an endoplasmic reticulum stress response that activates multiple proapoptotic pathways to decrease survival.
Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer-related death in women. Current interventional approaches, including debulking surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation have proven minimally effective in preventing the recurrence and/or mortality associated with this malignancy. Subtraction hybridization applied to terminally differentiating human melanoma cells identified melanoma differentiation associated gene-7/interleukin-24 (mda-7/IL-24), whose unique properties include the ability to selectively induce growth suppression, apoptosis, and radiosensitization in diverse cancer cells, without causing any harmful effects in normal cells. Previously, it has been shown that adenovirus-mediated mda-7/IL-24 therapy (Ad.mda-7) induces apoptosis in ovarian cancer cells, however, the apoptosis induction was relatively low. We now document that apoptosis can be enhanced by treating ovarian cancer cells with ionizing radiation (IR) in combination with Ad.mda-7. Additionally, we demonstrate that mda-7/IL-24 gene delivery, under the control of a minimal promoter region of progression elevated gene-3 (PEG-3), which functions selectively in diverse cancer cells with minimal activity in normal cells, displays a selective radiosensitization effect in ovarian cancer cells. The present studies support the use of IR in combination with mda-7/IL-24 as a means of augmenting the therapeutic benefit of this gene in ovarian cancer, particularly in the context of tumors displaying resistance to radiation therapy.
The present studies focused on determining whether the autophagy-inducing drug OSU-03012 (AR-12) could enhance the toxicity of recombinant adenoviral delivery of melanoma differentiation associated gene-7/interleukin-24 (mda-7/IL-24) in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) cells. The toxicity of a recombinant adenovirus to express MDA-7/IL-24 (Ad.mda-7) was enhanced by OSU-03012 in a diverse panel of primary human GBM cells. The enhanced toxicity correlated with reduced ERK1/2 phosphorylation and expression of MCL-1 and BCL-XL, and was blocked by molecular activation of ERK1/2 and by inhibition of the intrinsic, but not the extrinsic, apoptosis pathway. Both OSU-03012 and expression of MDA-7/IL-24 increased phosphorylation of PKR-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK) that correlated with increased levels of autophagy and expression of dominant negative PERK blocked autophagy induction and tumor cell death. Knockdown of ATG5 or Beclin1 suppressed OSU-03012 enhanced MDA-7/IL-24-induced autophagy and blocked the lethal interaction between the two agents. Ad.mda-7-infected GBM cells secreted MDA-7/IL-24 into the growth media and this conditioned media induced expression of MDA-7/IL-24 in uninfected GBM cells. OSU-03012 interacted with conditioned media to kill GBM cells and knockdown of MDA-7/IL-24 in these cells suppressed tumor cell killing. Collectively, our data demonstrate that the induction of autophagy and mitochondrial dysfunction by a combinatorial treatment approach represents a potentially viable strategy to kill primary human GBM cells.
ROS; caspase; ER stress; CD95; cell death
In the present study we show that histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACIs) enhance the anti-tumor effects of melanoma differentiation associated gene-7/interleukin 24 (mda-7/IL-24) in human renal carcinoma cells. Similar data were obtained in other GU tumor cells. Combination of these two agents resulted in increased autophagy that was dependent on expression of ceramide synthase 6, with HDACIs enhancing MDA-7/IL-24 toxicity by increasing generation of ROS and Ca2+. Knock down of CD95 protected cells from HDACI and MDA-7/IL-24 lethality. Sorafenib treatment further enhanced (HDACI + MDA-7/IL-24) lethality. Anoikis resistant renal carcinoma cells were more sensitive to MDA-7/IL-24 that correlated with elevated SRC activity and tyrosine phosphorylation of CD95. We employed a recently constructed serotype 5/3 adenovirus, which is more effective than a serotype 5 virus in delivering mda-7/IL-24 to renal carcinoma cells and which conditionally replicates (CR) in tumor cells expressing MDA-7/IL-24 by virtue of placing the adenoviral E1A gene under the control of the cancer-specific promoter progression elevated gene-3 (Ad.5/3-PEG-E1A-mda-7; CRAd.5/3-mda-7, Ad.5/3-CTV), to define efficacy in renal carcinoma cells. Ad.5/3-CTV decreased the growth of renal carcinoma tumors to a significantly greater extent than did a non-replicative virus Ad.5/3-mda-7. In contralateral uninfected renal carcinoma tumors Ad.5/3-CTV also decreased the growth of tumors to a greater extent than did Ad.5/3-mda-7. In summation, our data demonstrates that HDACIs enhance MDA-7/IL-24-mediated toxicity and tumor specific adenoviral delivery and viral replication of mda-7/IL-24 is an effective pre-clinical renal carcinoma therapeutic.
MDA-7/IL-24; HDACI; ceramide; apoptosis; bystander; cytokine; ROS; caspase; animal study
Melanoma differentiation-associated gene-7/interleukin-24 (mda-7/IL-24) is a novel cytokine displaying selective apoptosis-inducing activity in transformed cells without harming normal cells. The present studies focused on defining the mechanism(s) by which a GST-MDA-7 fusion protein inhibits cell survival of primary human glioma cells in vitro. GST-MDA-7 killed glioma cells with diverse genetic characteristics that correlated with inactivation of ERK1/2 and activation of JNK1-3. Activation of JNK1-3 was dependent on protein kinase R–like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK), and GST-MDA-7 lethality was suppressed in PERK−/− cells. JNK1-3 signaling activated BAX, whereas inhibition of JNK1-3, deletion of BAX, or expression of dominant-negative caspase-9 suppressed lethality. GST-MDA-7 also promoted a PERK-, JNK-, and cathepsin B–dependent cleavage of BID; loss of BID function promoted survival. GST-MDA-7 suppressed BAD and BIM phosphorylation and heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) expression. GST-MDA-7 caused PERK-dependent vacuolization of LC3-expressing endosomes whose formation was suppressed by incubation with 3-methylade-nine, expression of HSP70 or BiP/GRP78, or knockdown of ATG5 or Beclin-1 expression but not by inhibition of the JNK1-3 pathway. Knockdown of ATG5 or Beclin-1 expression or overexpression of HSP70 reduced GST-MDA-7 lethality. Our data show that GST-MDA-7 induces an endoplasmic reticulum stress response that is causal in the activation of multiple proapoptotic pathways, which converge on the mitochondrion and highlight the complexity of signaling pathways altered by mda-7/IL-24 in glioma cells that ultimately culminate in decreased tumor cell survival.
Melanoma differentiation-associated gene-7/interleukin-24 (mda-7/IL-24), a unique member of the IL-10 gene family, displays a broad range of antitumor properties including cancer-specific induction of apoptosis, inhibition of tumor angiogenesis, and modulation of anti-tumor immune responses. Here we identify clusterin (CLU) as a MDA-7/IL-24 interacting protein in DU-145 cells and investigate the role of MDA-7/IL-24 in regulating CLU expression and mediating the antitumor properties of mda-7/IL-24 in prostate cancer. Ad.mda-7 decreased expression of soluble CLU (sCLU) and increased expression of nuclear CLU (nCLU). In the initial phase of Ad.mda-7 infection sCLU expression increased and CLU interacted with MDA-7/IL-24 producing a cytoprotective effect. Infection of stable clones of DU-145 prostate cancer cells expressing sCLU with Ad.mda-7 resulted in generation of nCLU that correlated with decreased cell viability and increased apoptosis. In the presence of mda-7/IL-24, sCLU-DU-145 cells displayed G2/M phase arrest followed by apoptosis. Similarly, Ad.mda-7 infection decreased cell migration by altering cytoskeleton in sCLU-DU-145 cells. Ad.mda-7-treated sCLU-DU-145 cells displayed a significant reduction in tumor growth in mouse xenograft models and reduced angiogenesis when compared to the vector control group. Tumor tissue lysates demonstrated enhanced nCLU generated from sCLU with increased apoptosis in the presence of MDA-7/IL-24. Our findings reveal novel aspects relative to the role of sCLU/nCLU in regulating the anticancer properties of MDA-7/IL-24 that may be exploited for developing enhanced therapies for prostate cancer.
MDA-7/IL-24; soluble clusterin; nuclear clusterin; G2/M arrest; apoptosis
Melanoma differentiation-associated gene-7/interleukin-24 (mda-7/IL-24) is a cancer-specific, apoptosis-inducing gene with broad-spectrum antitumor activity, making it an ideal candidate for a novel cancer gene therapy. A systemic and sustained antitumor immune response generated at the time of initial molecular-targeted therapy would provide additional clinical benefits in cancer patients, resulting in improved prevention of tumor recurrence. In this study, we explored the therapeutic efficacy of intratumoral delivery of a nonreplicating adenoviral vectors encoding mda-7/IL-24 (Ad.mda-7) and a secretable form of endoplasmic reticulum resident chaperone grp170 (Ad.sgrp170), a potent immunostimulatory adjuvant and antigen carrier. Intratumoral administration of Ad.mda-7 in combination with Ad.sgrp170 was more effective in controlling growth of TRAMP-C2 prostate tumor as compared to either Ad.mda-7 or Ad.sgrp170 treatment. Generation of systemic antitumor immunity was demonstrated by enhanced protection against subsequent tumor challenge and improved control of distant tumors. The combined treatments enhanced antigen and tumor-specific T-cell response as indicated by increased IFN-γ production and cytolytic activity. Antibody depletion suggests that CD8+ T-cell may be involved in the antitumor effect of the dual molecule-targeted therapies. Therefore, introducing immunostimulatory chaperone grp170 in situ strongly promotes the ‘immunogenic’ cell death when delivered to the mda-7/IL-24 induced apoptotic tumor cells, indicating that an improved anti-cancer efficacy may be achieved by concurrently targeting both tumor and immune compartments. Given multiple undefined antigens present endogenously within prostate cancer, these data provide a rationale for combining sgrp170-based vaccine strategy with mda-7/IL-24-targeted cancer therapy to induce durable systemic immunity.
mda-7/IL-24; cancer gene therapy; stress protein; chaperone; grp170; immunity
“Differentiation therapy” provides a unique and potentially effective, less toxic treatment paradigm for cancer. Moreover, combining “differentiation therapy” with molecular approaches presents an unparalleled opportunity to identify and clone genes mediating cancer growth control, differentiation, senescence, and programmed cell death (apoptosis). Subtraction hybridization applied to human melanoma cells induced to terminally differentiate by treatment with fibroblast interferon (IFN-β) plus mezerein (MEZ) permitted cloning of melanoma differentiation associated (mda) genes. Founded on its novel properties, one particular mda gene, mda-7, now classified as a member of the interleukin (IL)-10 gene family (IL-24) because of conserved structure, chromosomal location, and cytokine-like properties has become the focus of attention of multiple laboratories. When administered by transfection or adenovirus-transduction into a spectrum of tumor cell types, melanoma differentiation associated gene-7/interleukin-24 (mda-7/IL-24) induces apoptosis, whereas no toxicity is apparent in normal cells. mda-7/IL-24 displays potent “bystander antitumor” activity and also has the capacity to enhance radiation lethality, to induce immune-regulatory activities, and to inhibit tumor angiogenesis. Based on these remarkable attributes and effective antitumor therapy in animal models, this cytokine has taken the important step of entering the clinic. In a Phase I clinical trial, intratumoral injections of adenovirus-administered mda-7/IL-24 (Ad.mda-7) was safe, elicited tumor-regulatory and immune-activating processes, and provided clinically significant activity. This review highlights our current understanding of the diverse activities and properties of this novel cytokine, with potential to become a prominent gene therapy for cancer.
mda-7/IL-24; Differentiation therapy of cancer; Programmed cell death; Antitumor bystander activity; Radiosensitization; Angiogenesis; Cell signaling; Phase I clinical trial
Melanoma differentiation-associated gene-7/interleukin-24 (mda-7/IL-24), a cytokine belonging to the IL-10 family, selectively induces apoptosis in cancer cells without harming normal cells by promoting an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response. The precise molecular mechanism by which the ER stress response culminates in cell death requires further clarification. The present study shows that in prostate carcinoma cells, the mda-7/IL-24-induced ER stress response causes apoptosis by translational inhibition of the antiapoptotic protein myeloid cell leukemia-1 (Mcl-1). Forced expression of Mcl-1 blocked mda-7/IL-24 lethality, whereas RNA interference or gene knockout of Mcl-1 markedly sensitized transformed cells to mda-7/IL-24. Mcl-1 downregulation by mda-7/IL-24 relieved its association with the proapoptotic protein Bak, causing oligomerization of Bak and leading to cell death. These observations show the profound role of the Bcl-2 protein family member Mcl-1 in regulating cancer-specific apoptosis induced by this cytokine. Thus, our studies provide further insights into the molecular mechanism of ER stress-induced cancer-selective apoptosis by mda-7/IL-24. As Mcl-1 is overexpressed in the majority of prostate cancers, mda-7/IL-24 might provide an effective therapeutic for this disease.
The death rate for pancreatic cancer approximates the number of new cases each year and when diagnosed current therapeutic regimens provide little benefit in extending patient survival. These dire statistics necessitate the development of enhanced single or combinatorial therapies to decrease the pathogenesis of this invariably fatal disease. Melanoma differentiation associated gene-7/interleukin-24 (mda-7/IL-24) is a potent cancer gene therapeutic because of its broad-spectrum cancer-specific apoptosis-inducing properties as well as its multi-pronged indirect anti-tumor activities. However, pancreatic cancer cells demonstrate inherent resistance to mda-7/IL-24 that is caused by a block of translation of mda-7/IL-24 mRNA in these tumor cells. We now reveal that a dietary agent perillyl alcohol (POH) in combination with Ad.mda-7 efficiently reverses the mda-7/IL-24 ‘protein translational block' by inducing reactive oxygen species thereby resulting in MDA-7/IL-24 protein production, growth suppression and apoptosis. Pharmacological inhibitor and siRNA studies identify xanthine oxidase as a major source of superoxide radical production causing these toxic effects. Since both POH and Ad.mda-7 are being evaluated in clinical trials, combining a dietary agent and a virally delivered therapeutic cytokine provide an innovative approach for potentially treating human pancreatic cancer.
mda-7/IL-24; POH; reactive oxygen species; cancer-selective apoptosis; xanthine oxidase
Classical swine fever (CSF) caused by CSF virus (CSFV) is a highly contagious disease of pigs. The RNA helicases retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I) and melanoma differentiation-associated gene 5 (MDA-5) are differentially involved in the detection of various RNA viruses. In present study, we investigated the roles of RIG-I and MDA-5 in eliciting antiviral and inflammatory responses to CSFV shimen strain in Porcine alveolar macrophages (PAMs).
CSFV Shimen strain was used as challenge virus in this study and PAMs were cultured in vitro. Interferon regulatory factor (IRF)-3 and nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) translocation was detected using immunofluorescent staining; RIG-I, MDA5, interferon promoter-stimulating factor 1 (IPS-1), IRF-3 and NF-κB expression was measured by Western Blotting; Interferon beta (IFN-β), IFN-α, interleukin-1beta (IL-1β), IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α) expression was tested by Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) and shRNA-mediated knockdown of MDA5 or RIG-I was performed.
The findings suggested that the initial response to CSFV infection resulted in the higher expression of RIG-I and MDA5 leading to the activation of IPS-1, IRF-3 and NF-κB in a dose-dependent manner. Evaluation of IFN-α, IFN-β, IL-1β, IL-6 or TNF-α expressed by PAMs showed significant differences between infected and uninfected cells. CSFV infected cells induced to express high levels of IFN-α, IFN-β, IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α in a dose-dependent way within 24 h post-infection (hpi). At the same time, CSFV improved the nuclear translocation of IRF-3 and NF-κB. We also directly compared and assessed the roles of RIG-I and MDA5 in triggering innate immune actions during CSFV infection through shRNA-mediated knockdown of MDA5 or RIG-I. We found that, compared to the control, the production of IFN-α, IFN-β, IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α in response to CSFV infection was heavily reduced in RIG-I knockdown cells while it was moderately decreased in MDA5 knockdown cells. PAMs derived from knockdown of both RIG-I and MDA5 almost failed to produce IFNs and inflammatory cytokines.
It indicates that CSFV can be recognized by both RIG-I and MDA5 to initiate the RIG-I signaling pathway to trigger innate defenses against infection.
RIG-I; MDA5; CSF; CSFV; IRF-3; NF-κB; Interferon; Inflammatory response; PAM
Melanoma differentiation associated gene-7/interleukin 24 (mda-7/IL-24) is a novel cytokine displaying selective apoptosis-inducing activity in transformed cells without harming normal cells. The studies by further defines the mechanism(s) by which a GST-MDA-7 fusion protein inhibits cell survival of primary human glioma cells in vitro. GST-MDA-7 killed glioma cells with diverse genetic characteristics that were dependent on activation of JNK1-3 with subsequent activation of BAX and the induction of mitochondrial dysfunction. Activation of JNK1-3 was dependent upon protein kinase R-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK) and GST-MDA-7 lethality was suppressed in PERK-/- cells. GST-MDA-7 caused PERK-dependent vacuolization of LC3-expressing endosomes whose formation was suppressed by incubation with 3-methyladenine, expression of HSP70 or of BiP/GRP78, or by knockdown of ATG5 or Beclin 1 expression, but not by inhibition of the JNK1-3 pathway. Knockdown of ATG5 or Beclin 1 expression or overexpression of HSP70 reduced GST-MDA-7 lethality. Our data demonstrate that GST-MDA-7 induces an ER stress response that, via the induction of autophagy, is causal in the activation of pro-apoptotic pathways that converge on the mitochondrion and ultimately culminate in decreased glioma cell survival.
autophagy; caspase; ER stress; cell death
Adenovirus (Ad)-based gene therapy represents a potentially viable strategy for treating colorectal cancer. The infectivity of serotype 5 adenovirus (Ad.5), routinely used as a transgene delivery vector, is dependent on Coxsackie-adenovirus receptors (CAR). CAR expression is downregulated in many cancers thus preventing optimum therapeutic efficiency of Ad.5-based therapies. To overcome the low CAR problem, a serotype chimerism approach was used to generate a recombinant Ad (Ad.5/3) that is capable of infecting cancer cells via Ad.3 receptors in a CAR-independent manner. We evaluated the improved transgene delivery and efficacy of Ad.5/3 recombinant virus expressing melanoma differentiation associated gene-7/interleukin-24 (mda-7/IL-24), an effective wide-spectrum cancer-selective therapeutic. In low CAR human colorectal cancer cells RKO, wild-type Ad.5 virus expressing mda-7/IL-24 (Ad.5-mda-7) failed to infect efficiently resulting in lack of expression of MDA-7/IL-24 or induction of apoptosis. However, a recombinant Ad.5/3 virus expressing mda-7/IL-24 (Ad.5/3-mda-7) efficiently infected RKO cells resulting in higher MDA-7/IL-24 expression and inhibition of cell growth both in vitro and in nude mice xenograft models. Addition of the novel Bcl-2 family pharmacological inhibitor Apogossypol derivative BI-97C1 (Sabutoclax) significantly augmented the efficacy of Ad.5/3-mda-7. A combination regimen of suboptimal doses of Ad.5/3-mda-7 and BI-97C1 profoundly enhanced cytotoxicity in RKO cells both in vitro and in vivo. Considering the fact that Ad.5-mda-7 has demonstrated significant objective responses in a Phase I clinical trial for advanced solid tumors, Ad.5/3-mda-7 alone or in combination with BI-97C1 would be predicted to exert significantly improved therapeutic efficacy in colorectal cancer patients.
Viral gene therapy; Mcl-1 inhibition; apoptosis induction; anti-tumor activity
mda-7/IL-24 is a unique member of the IL-10 gene family, which displays a broad range of antitumor properties including induction of cancer-specific apoptosis. Adenoviral mediated delivery by Ad.mda-7 invokes an endoplasmic reticulum stress response that is associated with ceramide production and autophagy in some cancer cells. Here we report that Ad.mda-7-induced ER stress and ceramide production triggers autophagy in human prostate cancer cells, but not normal prostate epithelial cells, through a canonical signaling pathway that involves Beclin-1, atg5 and hVps34. Autophagy occurs in cancer cells at early times after Ad.mda-7 infection but a switch to apoptosis occurs by 48 hr post-infection. Inhibiting autophagy with 3-methyladenosine increases Ad.mda-7-induced apoptosis, suggesting that autophagy may be initiated first as a cytoprotective mechanism. Inhibiting apoptosis by overexpression of anti-apoptotic proteins Bcl-2 or Bcl-xL increased autophagy after Ad.mda-7 infection. During the apoptotic phase, the MDA-7/IL-24 protein physically interacted with Beclin-1 in a manner that could inhibit Beclin-1 function culminating in apoptosis. Conversely, Ad.mda-7 infection elicited calpain-mediated cleavage of the autophagic protein ATG5 in a manner that could facilitate switch to apoptosis. Our findings reveal novel aspects of the interplay between autophagy and apoptosis in prostate cancer cells that underlie the cytotoxic action of mda-7/IL-24, possibly providing new insights in the development of combinatorial therapies for prostate cancer.
mda-7/IL-24; protective autophagy; apoptosis; Beclin-1; atg5
Transglutamiase-4 (TGase-4), also known as prostate transglutaminase, belongs to the TGase family and is uniquely expressed in the prostate gland. The functions of this interesting protein are not clearly defined. In the present study, we have investigated an unexpected link between TGase-4 and the melanoma differentiation-associated gene-7/interleukin-24 (MDA-7/IL-24), a cytokine known to regulate the growth and apoptosis of certain cancer and immune cells.
Frozen sections of normal and malignant human prostate tissues and human prostate cancer (PCa) cell lines PC-3 and CA-HPV-10, cell lines expressing low and high levels of TGase-4, and recombinant MDA-7/IL-24 (rhMDA-7/IL-24) were used. Expression construct for human TGase-4 was generated using a mammalian expression vector with full length human TGase-4 isolated from normal human prostate tissues. PC-3 cells were transfected with expression construct or control plasmid. Stably transfected cells for control transfection and TGase-4 over expression were created. Similarly, expression of TGase-4 in CA-HPV-10 cells were knocked down by way of ribozyme transgenes. Single and double immunofluorescence microscopy was used for localization and co-localization of TGase-4 and MDA-7/IL-24 in PCa tissues and cells with antibodies to TGase-4; MDA-7/IL-24; IL-20alpha; IL-20beta and IL-22R. Cell-matrix adhesion, attachment and migration were by electric cell substrate impedance sensing and growth by in vitro cell growth assay. A panel of small molecule inhibitors, including Akt, was used to determine signal pathways involving TGase-4 and MDA-7/IL-24.
We initially noted that MDA-7 resulted in inhibition of cell adhesion, growth and migration of human PCa PC-3 cells which did not express TGase-4. However, after the cells over-expressed TGase-4 by way of transfection, the TGase-4 expressing cells lost their adhesion, growth and migratory inhibitory response to MDA-7. On the other hand, CA-HPV-10 cells, a cell type naturally expressing high levels of TGase-4, had a contrasting response to MDA-7 when compared with PC-3 cells. Inhibitor to Akt reversed the inhibitory effect of MDA-7, only in PC-3 control cells, but not the TGase-4 expressing PC-3 cells. In human prostate tissues, TGase-4 was found to have a good degree of co-localization with one of the MDA-7 receptor complexes, IL-20Ra.
The presence of TGase-4 has a biological impact on a prostate cancer cell's response to MDA-7. TGase-4, via mechanism(s) yet to be identified, blocked the action of MDA-7 in prostate cancer cells. This has an important implication when considering the use of MDA-7 as a potential anticancer cytokine in prostate cancer therapies.
Melanoma differentiation associated gene-9 (mda-9/syntenin) encodes an adapter scaffold protein whose expression correlates with and mediates melanoma progression and metastasis. Tumor angiogenesis represents an integral component of cancer metastasis prompting us to investigate a possible role of mda-9/syntenin in inducing angiogenesis. Genetic (gain-of-function and loss-of-function) and pharmacological approaches were employed to modify mda-9/syntenin expression in normal immortal melanocytes, early radial growth phase melanoma and metastatic melanoma cells. The consequence of modifying mda-9/syntenin expression on angiogenesis was evaluated using both in vitro and in vivo assays, including tube formation assays using human vascular endothelial cells, CAM assays and xenograft tumor animal models. Gain-of-function and loss-of-function experiments confirm that MDA-9/syntenin induces angiogenesis by augmenting expression of several pro-angiogenic factors/genes. Experimental evidence is provided for a model of angiogenesis induction by MDA-9/syntenin in which MDA-9/syntenin interacts with the ECM activating Src and FAK resulting in activation by phosphorylation of Akt, which induces HIF-1α. The HIF-1α activates transcription of Insulin Growth Factor Binding Protein-2 (IGFBP-2), which is secreted thereby promoting angiogenesis and further induces endothelial cells to produce and secrete VEGF-A augmenting tumor angiogenesis. Our studies delineate an unanticipated cell non-autonomous function of MDA-9/syntenin in the context of angiogenesis, which may directly contribute to its metastasis-promoting properties. As a result, targeting MDA-9/syntenin or its downstream-regulated molecules may provide a means of simultaneously impeding metastasis by both directly inhibiting tumor cell transformed properties (autonomous) and indirectly by blocking angiogenesis (non-autonomous).
mda-9/syntenin; melanoma; angiogenesis; IGFBP-2; HuVECs; CAM assay
Inhibitors of cyclo-oxygenase (COX)-2 are being extensively studied as anticancer agents. In the present study we evaluated the mechanisms by which a highly selective COX-2 inhibitor, celecoxib, affects tumor growth of two differentially invasive human breast cancer cell lines.
MDA-MB-231 (highly invasive) and MDA-MB-468 (moderately invasive) cell lines were treated with varying concentrations of celecoxib in vitro, and the effects of this agent on cell growth and angiogenesis were monitored by evaluating cell proliferation, apoptosis, cell cycle arrest, and vasculogenic mimicry. The in vitro results of MDA-MB-231 cell line were further confirmed in vivo in a mouse xenograft model.
The highly invasive MDA-MB-231 cells express higher levels of COX-2 than do the less invasive MDA-MB-468 cells. Celecoxib treatment inhibited COX-2 activity, indicated by prostaglandin E2 secretion, and caused significant growth arrest in both breast cancer cell lines. In the highly invasive MDA-MB-231 cells, the mechanism of celecoxib-induced growth arrest was by induction of apoptosis, associated with reduced activation of protein kinase B/Akt, and subsequent activation of caspases 3 and 7. In the less invasive MDA-MB-468 cells, growth arrest was a consequence of cell cycle arrest at the G0/G1 checkpoint. Celecoxib-induced growth inhibition was reversed by addition of exogenous prostaglandin E2 in MDA-MB-468 cells but not in MDA-MB-231 cells. Furthermore, MDA-MB-468 cells formed significantly fewer extracellular matrix associated microvascular channels in vitro than did the high COX-2 expressing MDA-MB-231 cells. Celecoxib treatment not only inhibited cell growth and vascular channel formation but also reduced vascular endothelial growth factor levels. The in vitro findings corroborated in vivo data from a mouse xenograft model in which daily administration of celecoxib significantly reduced tumor growth of MDA-MB-231 cells, which was associated with reduced vascularization and increased necrosis in the tumor mass.
The disparate molecular mechanisms of celecoxib-induced growth inhibition in human breast cancer cells depends upon the level of COX-2 expression and the invasive potential of the cell lines examined. Data suggest a role for COX-2 not only in the growth of cancer cells but also in activating the angiogenic pathway through regulating levels of vascular endothelial growth factor.
Hepatocellular carcinoma is one of the most common tumors in the world. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the inhibitory effects of adenoviral transduction of human melanoma differentiation-associated gene-7 (MDA-7) gene on hepatocellular carcinoma, so as to provide a theoretical basis for gene therapy of the disease. The human MDA-7 gene was cloned into replication-defective adenovirus specific to HepG2 cells using recombinant virus technology. RT-PCR and Western blotting assays were used to determine the expression of human MDA-7 mRNA and MDA-7 protein in HepG2 cells in vitro. Induction of apoptosis by overexpression of the human MDA-7 gene was determined by flow cytometry. In-vivo efficacy of adenoviral delivery of the human MDA-7 gene was assessed in nude mice bearing HepG2 cell lines in vivo by determining inhibition of tumor growth, VEGF and CD34 expression, and microvascular density (MVD). The results showed that AdGFP/MDA-7 induced apoptosis of HepG2 cells in vitro and significantly inhibited tumor growth in vivo (P < 0.05). The intratumoral MVD decreased significantly in the treated tumors (P < 0.05). We conclude the recombination adenovirus AdGFP/MDA-7 can effectively express biologically active human MDA-7, which leads to inhibition of hepatocellular carcinoma growth.
MDA-7; adenovirus; hepatocellular carcinoma; gene therapy; angiogenesis
Previous studies showed that the human melanoma differentiation-associated gene-7 (mda-7), also known as interleukin-24 (IL-24), has potent antitumor activity against human and murine cancer cells. However, the majority of these studies were limited to in vitro testing. In the present study, we investigated the antitumor activity of mda-7/IL-24 against human ovarian cancer cells both in vitro and in vivo.
In vitro, treatment of ovarian cancer cells with an adenoviral vector carrying the mda-7 gene (Ad-mda7) resulted in inhibition of cell proliferation and induction of cell cycle arrest, leading to apoptosis. We did not observe inhibitory activity in Ad-mda7-treated normal cells. In vivo, treatment of subcutaneous tumor xenografts with Ad-mda7 resulted in significant tumor growth inhibition when compared with that in control groups (p < 0.001). Molecular analysis of ovarian tumor tissue lysates treated with Ad-mda7 showed that MDA-7 protein expression was associated with activation of the caspase cascade.
Our results show that treatment of ovarian cancer cells with mda-7/IL-24 results in growth suppression both in vitro and in vivo.
Melanoma differentiation associated gene-7 (MDA-7), also known as interleukin (IL)-24, is a tumour suppressor gene associated with differentiation, growth and apoptosis. However, the mechanisms underlying its anti-neoplastic activity, tumour-specificity and efficacy across a spectrum of human cancers have yet to be fully elucidated. In this study, the biological impact of MDA-7 on the behavior of breast cancer (BC) cells is evaluated. Furthermore, mRNA expression of MDA-7 is assessed in a cohort of women with BC and correlated with established pathological parameters and clinical outcome.
The human BC cell line MDA MB-231 was used to evaluate the in-vitro impact of recombinant human (rh)-MDA-7 on cell growth and motility, using a growth assay, wounding assay and electric cell impedance sensing (ECIS). Localisation of MDA-7 in mammary tissues was assessed with standard immuno-histochemical methodology. BC tissues (n = 127) and normal tissues (n = 33) underwent RNA extraction and reverse transcription, MDA-7 transcript levels were determined using real-time quantitative PCR. Transcript levels were analyzed against tumour size, grade, oestrogen receptor (ER) status, nodal involvement, TNM stage, Nottingham Prognostic Index (NPI) and clinical outcome over a 10 year follow-up period.
Exposure to rh-MDA-7 significantly reduced wound closure rates for human BC cells in-vitro. The ECIS model demonstrated a significantly reduced motility and migration following rh-MDA-7 treatment (p = 0.024). Exposure to rh-MDA-7 was only found to exert a marginal effect on growth. Immuno-histochemical staining of human breast tissues revealed substantially greater MDA-7 positivity in normal compared to cancer cells. Significantly lower MDA-7 transcript levels were identified in those predicted to have a poorer prognosis by the NPI (p = 0.049) and those with node positive tumours. Significantly lower expression was also noted in tumours from patients who died of BC compared to those who remained disease free (p = 0.035). Low levels of MDA-7 were significantly correlated with a shorter disease free survival (mean = 121.7 vs. 140.4 months, p = 0.0287) on Kaplan-Meier survival analysis.
MDA-7 significantly inhibits the motility and migration of human BC cells in-vitro. MDA-7 expression is substantially reduced in malignant breast tissue and low transcript levels are significantly associated with unfavourable pathological parameters, including nodal positivity; and adverse clinical outcomes including poor prognosis and shorter disease free survival. MDA-7 offers utility as a prognostic marker and potential for future therapeutic strategies.
Several epidemiological studies have correlated the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) with reduced risk of ovarian cancer, the most lethal gynecological cancer, diagnosed usually in late stages of the disease. We have previously established that the pro-apoptotic cytokine melanoma differentiation associated gene-7/Interleukin-24 (mda-7/IL-24) is a crucial mediator of NSAID-induced apoptosis in prostate, breast, renal and stomach cancer cells. In this report we evaluated various structurally different NSAIDs for their efficacies to induce apoptosis and mda-7/IL-24 expression in ovarian cancer cells. While several NSAIDs induced apoptosis, Sulindac Sulfide and Diclofenac most potently induced apoptosis and reduced tumor growth. A combination of these agents results in a synergistic effect. Furthermore, mda-7/IL-24 induction by NSAIDs is essential for programmed cell death, since inhibition of mda-7/IL-24 by small interfering RNA abrogates apoptosis. mda-7/IL-24 activation leads to upregulation of growth arrest and DNA damage inducible (GADD) 45 α and γ and JNK activation. The NF-κB family of transcription factors has been implicated in ovarian cancer development. We previously established NF-κB/IκB signaling as an essential step for cell survival in cancer cells and hypothesized that targeting NF-κB could potentiate NSAID-mediated apoptosis induction in ovarian cancer cells. Indeed, combining NSAID treatment with NF-κB inhibitors led to enhanced apoptosis induction. Our results indicate that inhibition of NF-κB in combination with activation of mda-7/IL-24 expression may lead to a new combinatorial therapy for ovarian cancer.
The melanoma differentiation-associated gene-7 (mda-7) is a known mediator of apoptosis in cancer cells but not in normal cells. We hypothesized that MDA-7 interferes with the prosurvival signaling pathways that are commonly altered in cancer cells to induce growth arrest and apoptosis. We also identified the cell signaling pathways that are antagonized by MDA-7 leading to apoptosis. Using an adenoviral expression system, mda-7 was introduced into the breast cancer cell lines SKBr3, MCF-7 and MDA-MB-468, each with a different estrogen receptor (ER) and HER-2 receptor status. Downstream targets of MDA-7 were assessed by reverse phase protein array analysis, western blot analysis and immunofluorescence confocal microscopy. Our results show that MDA-7-induced apoptosis was mediated by caspases in all cell lines tested. However, MDA-7 modulates additional pathways in SKBr3 (HER-2 positive) and MCF-7 (ER positive) cells including downregulation of AKT-GSK3β and upregulation of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors in the nucleus. This leads to cell cycle arrest in addition to apoptosis. In conclusion, MDA-7 abrogates tumor-promoting pathways including the activation of caspase-dependent signaling pathways ultimately leading to apoptosis. In addition, depending on the phenotype of the breast cancer cell, MDA-7 modulates cell cycle regulating pathways to mediate cell cycle arrest.
MDA-7; IL-24; breast cancer and AKT