Adenoviral infection induces nucleoplasmic redistribution of a nucleolar nucleophosmin 1/NPM1/B23.1. NPM1 is preferentially localized in the nucleoli of normal cells, whereas it is also present at the nuclear matrix in cancer cells. However, the biological roles of NPM1 during infection are unknown. Here, by analyzing a pV-deletion mutant, Ad5-dV/TSB, we demonstrate that pV promotes the NPM1 translocation from the nucleoli to the nucleoplasm in normal cells, and the NPM1 translocation is correlated with adenoviral replication. Lack of pV causes a dramatic reduction of adenoviral replication in normal cells, but not cancer cells, and Ad5-dV/TSB was defective in viral assembly in normal cells. NPM1 knockdown inhibits adenoviral replication, suggesting an involvement of NPM1 in adenoviral biology. Further, we show that NPM1 interacts with empty adenovirus particles which are an intermediate during virion maturation by immunoelectron microscopy. Collectively, these data implicate that pV participates in a process of viral assembly through NPM1.
adenovirus; adenoviral assembly; cancer gene therapy; nucleophosmin 1; protein V
Vectors based on human adenovirus serotype 5 (HAdV-5) continue to show promise as delivery vehicles for cancer gene therapy. Nevertheless, it has become clear that therapeutic benefit is directly linked to tumor-specific vector localization, highlighting the need for tumor-targeted gene delivery. Aberrant glycosylation of cell surface glycoproteins and glycolipids is a central feature of malignant transformation, and tumor-associated glycoforms are recognized as cancer biomarkers. On this basis, we hypothesized that cancer-specific cell-surface glycans could be the basis of a novel paradigm in HAdV-5-based vector targeting.
As a first step toward this goal, we constructed a novel HAdV-5 vector encoding a unique chimeric fiber protein that contains the tandem carbohydrate binding domains of the fiber protein of the NADC-1 strain of porcine adenovirus type 4 (PAdV-4). This glycan-targeted vector displays augmented CAR-independent gene transfer in cells with low CAR expression. Further, we show that gene transfer is markedly decreased in cells with genetic glycosylation defects and by inhibitors of glycosylation in normal cells.
These data provide the initial proof-of-concept for HAdV-5 vector-mediated gene delivery based on the presence of cell-surface carbohydrates. Further development of this new targeting paradigm could provide targeted gene delivery based on vector recognition of disease-specific glycan biomarkers.
Adenoviral (Ad) vectors show promise as platforms for vaccine applications against infectious diseases including HIV. However, the requirements for eliciting protective neutralizing antibody and cellular immune responses against HIV remain a major challenge. In a novel approach to generate 2F5- and 4E10-like antibodies, we engineered an Ad vector with the HIV membrane proximal ectodomain region (MPER) epitope displayed on the hypervariable region 2 (HVR2) of the viral hexon capsid, instead of expressed as a transgene. The structure and flexibility of MPER epitopes, and the structural context of these epitopes within viral vectors, play important roles in the induced host immune responses. In this regard, understanding the critical factors for epitope presentation would facilitate optimization strategies for developing viral vaccine vectors. Therefore we undertook a cryoEM structural study of this Ad vector, which was previously shown to elicit MPER-specific humoral immune responses. A subnanometer resolution cryoEM structure was analyzed with guided molecular dynamics simulations. Due to the arrangement of hexons within the Ad capsid, there are twelve unique environments for the inserted peptide that lead to a variety of conformations for MPER, including individual α-helices, interacting α-helices, and partially extended forms. This finding is consistent with the known conformational flexibility of MPER. The presence of an extended form, or an induced extended form, is supported by interaction of this vector with the human HIV monoclonal antibody 2F5, which recognizes 14 extended amino acids within MPER. These results demonstrate that the Ad capsid influences epitope structure, flexibility and accessibility, all of which affect the host immune response. In summary, this cryoEM structural study provided a means to visualize an epitope presented on an engineered viral vector and suggested modifications for the next generation of Ad vectors with capsid-incorporated HIV epitopes.
Human prostate tumor vaccine and gene therapy trials using ex vivo methods to prime dendritic cells (DCs) with prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) have been somewhat successful, but to date the lengthy ex vivo manipulation of DCs has limited the widespread clinical utility of this approach. Our goal was to improve upon cancer vaccination with tumor antigens by delivering PSMA via a CD40-targeted adenovirus vector directly to DCs as an efficient means for activation and antigen presentation to T-cells. To test this approach, we developed a mouse model of prostate cancer by generating clonal derivatives of the mouse RM-1 prostate cancer cell line expressing human PSMA (RM-1-PSMA cells). To maximize antigen presentation in target cells, both MHC class I and TAP protein expression was induced in RM-1 cells by transduction with an Ad vector expressing interferon-gamma (Ad5-IFNγ). Administering DCs infected ex vivo with CD40-targeted Ad5-huPSMA, as well as direct intraperitoneal injection of the vector, resulted in high levels of tumor-specific CTL responses against RM-1-PSMA cells pretreated with Ad5-IFNγ as target cells. CD40 targeting significantly improved the therapeutic antitumor efficacy of Ad5-huPSMA encoding PSMA when combined with Ad5-IFNγ in the RM-1-PSMA model. These results suggest that a CD-targeted adenovirus delivering PSMA may be effective clinically for prostate cancer immunotherapy.
Human cancers are genetically and epigenetically heterogeneous and have the capacity to commandeer a variety of cellular processes to aid in their survival, growth and resistance to therapy. One strategy is to overexpress proteins that suppress apoptosis, such as the Bcl-2 family protein Mcl-1. The Mcl-1 protein plays a pivotal role in protecting cells from apoptosis and is overexpressed in a variety of human cancers.
Targeting Mcl-1 for extinction in these cancers, using genetic and pharmacological approaches, represents a potentially effectual means of developing new efficacious cancer therapeutics. Here we review the multiple strategies that have been employed in targeting this fundamental protein, as well as the significant potential these targeting agents provide in not only suppressing cancer growth, but also in reversing resistance to conventional cancer treatments.
We discuss the potential issues that arise in targeting Mcl-1 and other Bcl-2 anti-apoptotic proteins, as well problems with acquired resistance. The application of combinatorial approaches that involve inhibiting Mcl-1 and manipulation of additional signaling pathways to enhance therapeutic outcomes is also highlighted. The ability to specifically inhibit key genetic/epigenetic elements and biochemical pathways that maintain the tumor state represent a viable approach for developing rationally based, effective cancer therapies.
Conditionally replicative adenoviral (CRAd) virotherapy represents a promising therapeutic approach for cancer. We have demonstrated that a serotype chimeric adenoviral 5/3 fiber-knob modification achieves enhanced ovarian cancer infectivity, conditional replication, and oncolytic activity. This study evaluated the safety of intraperitoneal (IP) Ad5/3-Δ24 in advance of a phase I clinical trial in gynecologic cancers. Syrian hamster cohorts were treated with IP Ad5/3-Δ24 or control buffer for 3 consecutive days and euthanized on study days 8, 17, 57, and 89. Blood and tissue samples were harvested from each animal. For biodistribution studies, presence and quantitation of viral levels within samples were determined via quantitative polymerase chain reaction. For safety studies, animals were assessed for adverse vector-related tissue or laboratory effects. In the biodistribution study, low levels of Ad5/3-Δ24 DNA were noted outside of the abdominal cavity. Viral DNA levels in tissues obtained from the peritoneal cavity peaked at day 8 and declined thereafter. In the safety study, no specific histopathologic changes were attributable to virus administration. Hematologic findings noted in the 1 × 1011 viral particles (vp)/dose group on Days 4 and/or 8 were indicative of an Ad5/3-Δ24–specific generalized inflammatory response; these findings resolved by day 56. The no observable adverse effect level was determined to be 1 × 1010 vp/dose. This study elucidates the safety profile of IP administration of the serotype chimeric infectivity-enhanced CRAd, Ad5/3-Δ24, and provides guidance for a planned phase I trial for patients with recurrent gynecologic cancers.
In this study, Kim and colleagues evaluate the biodistribution, safety, and immunological response associated with intraperitoneal administration of a novel adenoviral vector with a 5/3 fiber-knob modification in a hamster model. These studies were done in advance of a planned phase I human clinical trial in ovarian and other select gynecological cancers.
The gene therapy field is currently limited by the lack of vehicles that permit efficient gene delivery to specific cell or tissue subsets. Native viral vector tropisms offer a powerful platform for transgene delivery but remain nonspecific, requiring elevated viral doses to achieve efficacy. In order to improve upon these strategies, our group has focused on genetically engineering targeting domains into viral capsid proteins, particularly those based on adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad5). Our primary strategy is based on deletion of the fiber knob domain, to eliminate broad tissue specificity through the human coxsackie-and-adenovirus receptor (hCAR), with seamless incorporation of ligands to re-direct Ad tropism to cell types that express the cognate receptors. Previously, our group and others have demonstrated successful implementation of this strategy in order to specifically target Ad to a number of surface molecules expressed on immortalized cell lines. Here, we utilized phage biopanning to identify a myeloid cell-binding peptide (MBP), with the sequence WTLDRGY, and demonstrated that MBP can be successfully incorporated into a knob-deleted Ad5. The resulting virus, Ad.MBP, results in specific binding to primary myeloid cell types, as well as significantly higher transduction of these target populations ex vivo, compared to unmodified Ad5. These data are the first step in demonstrating Ad targeting to cell types associated with inflammatory disease.
Recombinant adenovirus vectors (Ad) have been recognized as effective in vivo gene delivery vehicles and utilized as gene therapy agents for a number of cancers. The elucidation of viral entry mechanisms has allowed the development of recombinant vectors that exploit existing cell surface receptors to achieve entry into the cell. B lymphocytes are normally resistant to infection by adenovirus 5, likely due to the lack of the Coxsackie and Adenovirus receptor (CAR). Using reverse-transcriptase PCR and flow cytometry, the CD40 receptor has been shown to be expressed on many lymphoma cells. We exploited this finding to develop a gene therapy strategy for treatment of canine B-cell lymphoma. Ad5 was targeted to cells expressing CD40 via CD40 ligand (CD40L) and was effective in infecting CD40-expressing control cells; however, both primary canine lymphoma cells and cell lines demonstrated limited evidence of transduction. Following receptor binding, adenovirus entry into cells may require interaction with αvβ3/5 integrins; we demonstrate that canine lymphoma cells are deficient in these integrins. Reduced αvβ3 integrin expression may render these cells incapable of internalizing Ad vectors. Thus, any viral targeting approaches for treatment of canine lymphoma must also take into account the potential lack of internalization signals.
gene therapy; adenovirus; canine; lymphoma; transduction; CD40; integrins
Adenovirus (Ad)-based vaccines are considered for cancer immunotherapy, yet, detailed knowledge on their mechanism of action and optimal delivery route for anti-tumor efficacy is lacking. Here, we compared the anti-tumor efficacy of an Ad-based melanoma vaccine after intradermal, intravenous, intranasal or intraperitoneal delivery in the B16F10 melanoma model. The intradermal route induced superior systemic anti-melanoma immunity which was MyD88 signaling-dependent. Predominant transduction of non-professional antigen-presenting cells at the dermal vaccination sites and draining lymph nodes, suggested a role for cross-presentation, which was confirmed in vitro. We conclude that the dermis provides an optimal route of entry for Ad-based vaccines for high-efficacy systemic anti-tumor immunization and that this immunization likely involves cross-priming events in the draining lymph nodes.
adenovirus; administration route; melanoma
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
The cytokine melanoma differentiation associated gene 7 (mda-7) was identified by subtractive hybridization 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, was classified as a member of the 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 rapid cell death. In addition, MDA-7/IL-24 has been noted to radiosensitize tumor cells which in part is due to the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and ceramide that cause endoplasmic reticulum stress and suppress protein translation. 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, strongly arguing that MDA-7/IL-24 could have significant therapeutic value. This review describes what is presently known about the impact of MDA-7/IL-24 on tumor cell biology and its potential therapeutic applications.
MDA-7; IL-24; Apoptosis; Autophagy; Ceramide; ROS; Ca2+; Clinical trial; Signal transduction; PERK; ER stress; MCL-1
To determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD), toxicity spectrum, clinical activity, and biological effects of the tropism-modified infectivity-enhanced CRAd, Ad5-Δ24-RGD, in patients with gynecologic malignancies.
Cohorts of eligible patients were treated daily for 3 days via intraperitoneal catheter. Vector doses ranged from 1×109 to 1×1012 viral particles/day. Toxicity was evaluated utilizing CTCv3.0. CA-125 and RECIST criteria were utilized to determine clinical efficacy. Corollary biologic studies included assessment of CRAd replication, wild type virus generation, viral shedding, and neutralizing antibody response.
Twenty-one patients were enrolled. Adverse clinical effects were limited to G1/2 fever, fatigue, or abdominal pain. No vector related grade 3/4 toxicities were noted. No clinically significant laboratory abnormalities were noted. The MTD was not reached. Over a 1 month follow up, 15 (71%) patients had stable disease and six (29%) had progressive disease. No partial or complete responses were noted. Seven patients had a decrease in CA-125; 4 had a >20% drop. RGD-specific-PCR demonstrated the presence of study vector in ascites of 16 patients. Seven revealed an increase in virus after day 3, suggesting replication of Ad5-Δ24-RGD. Minimal wild type virus generation was detected. Viral shedding studies demonstrated insignificant shedding in the serum, saliva, and urine. Anti-adenoviral neutralizing antibody effects were prevalent.
This study, the first to evaluate an infectivity enhanced CRAd in human cancer, demonstrates the feasibility, safety, potential antitumor response, and biologic activity of this approach in ovarian cancer. Further evaluation of infectivity enhanced virotherapy approaches for gynecologic malignancies is warranted.
Ovarian cancer; Gene therapy; Virotherapy; Replicative Adenovirus; CRAd
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.
Due to advances in viral design, oncolytic adenoviruses have emerged as a promising approach for treatment of breast cancer. Tumor tissue slices offer a stringent model system for preclinical evaluation of adenovirus therapies, since the slices retain a morphology and phenotype that more closely resembles the in vivo setting than cell line cultures, and it has been shown to have utility in the evaluation of viral infectivity and replication. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of viral infection and replication using a tropism-modified oncolytic adenovirus.
Breast tumor tissue slices were infected with a tropism-modified oncolytic adenovirus, and a wild-type adenovirus for comparison. Efficiency of infection was evaluated using fluorescent microscopy, as the viruses used have been modified to express red fluorescent protein. Replication of the viruses was evaluated with quantitative real-time PCR to assay viral E4 genome copy number, a surrogate indicator for the number of virions. The breast tumor tissue slices were evaluated for the expression of CD46 expression by immunohistochemistry.
Infection and replication of our tropism modified oncolytic virus has been observed in breast cancer tissue slice model system and is comparative to wild-type virus. A qualitative increase in the number of cells showing RFP expression was observed correlating with increasing multiplicity of infection. Higher relative infectivity of the virus was observed in tumor tissue compared with normal breast tissue. Replication of the virus was demonstrated through increases in E4 copy number at 48 and 72 hours after infection in human breast tumor slices.
We have shown that a tropism modified oncolytic oncolytic adenovirus can infect and replicate in breast cancer tissue slices, which may be an important preclinical indicator for its therapeutic utility.
adenovirus; breast cancer; CD46; CAR; oncolytic; tissue slice model
Melanoma differentiation associated gene-7/interleukin-24 (mda-7/IL-24) is a unique member of the IL-10 gene family that displays nearly ubiquitous cancer-specific toxicity, with no harmful effects toward normal cells or tissues. mda-7/IL-24 was cloned from human melanoma cells by differentiation induction subtraction hybridization (DISH) and promotes endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress culminating in apoptosis or toxic autophagy in a broad-spectrum of human cancers, when assayed in cell culture, in vivo in human tumor xenograft mouse models and in a Phase I clinical trial in patients with advanced cancers. This therapeutically active cytokine also induces indirect anti-tumor activity through inhibition of angiogenesis, stimulation of an anti-tumor immune response, and sensitization of cancer cells to radiation-, chemotherapy- and antibody-induced killing.
mda-7/IL-24; apoptosis; autophagy; bystander antitumor activity; cancer terminator virus
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 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
Following intravascular delivery, an important route of administration for many clinical applications, the liver is the predominant site of adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad5) sequestration thereby posing a risk of toxicity. In this regard, it has recently been demonstrated that the Ad5 capsid binds to the blood coagulation factor X (FX) via the Ad5 hexon protein. This interaction mediates the majority of Ad5 liver transduction. Patient FX levels can be diminished by the administration of warfarin, a vitamin K inhibitor in the liver which decreases FX production; however, warfarin is a potent anticoagulant and can have a number of undesired side effects. Therefore, genetic modification of the virus to ablate FX binding is the preferred approach. Modifications of the hexon protein, specifically within the hypervariable 5 (HVR5) and 7 (HVR7) regions, have produced Ad5 vectors that show minimal liver sequestration. Our laboratory has pioneered adenovirus hexon modifications, including insertion of peptide ligands into the hypervariable regions and substitution of the adenovirus hexon with hexon proteins from alternate serotypes. Substitution of the adenovirus serotype 3 (Ad3) hexon protein onto the Ad5 capsid has been further characterized in regard to its interaction with FX and incorporated into an infectivity enhanced conditionally replicative adenovirus (CRAd). In vitro evaluation of these hexon modified vectors demonstrated decreased binding to FX and decreased cell transduction via FX mediated pathways. Furthermore, in vivo biodistribution studies in mice exhibited a decrease in liver sequestration. Utilizing xenograft tumor models, anti-tumor efficacy of the hexon-modified CRAds was enhanced over non-modified controls.
Adenovirus; Gene Therapy; Oncolytic Virotherapy; Cancer
MDA-7/IL-24 has noteworthy potential as an anticancer therapeutic because of its diversity of antitumor properties, its lack of toxicity toward normal cells and tissues, and its safety and efficacy as evidenced in a phase I clinical trial. In a recent study, we document that Ad.mda-7-induced ER stress and ceramide production leads to early autophagy that subsequently switches to apoptosis in human prostate cancer cells. During the apoptotic phase, the MDA-7/IL-24 protein physically interacts with Beclin 1 and this interaction might inhibit Beclin 1 function culminating in apoptosis. Conversely, Ad.mda-7 infection leads to calpain-mediated cleavage of the Atg5 protein that might also facilitate a biochemical switch from autophagy to apoptosis. Our recent paper reveals novel aspects of the interplay between autophagy and apoptosis that underlie the cytotoxic action of MDA-7/IL-24 in prostate cancer cells. These new insights into MDA-7/IL-24 action provide intriguing leads for developing innovative combinatorial approaches for prostate cancer therapy.
mda-7/IL-24; protective autophagy; apoptosis; Beclin 1; Atg5
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
Adenovirus isolate NADC-1, a strain of porcine adenovirus type 4, has a fiber containing an N-terminal virus attachment region, shaft and head domains, and a C-terminal galectin domain connected to the head by an RGD-containing sequence. The crystal structure of the head domain is similar to previously solved adenovirus fiber head domains, but specific residues for binding the coxsackievirus and adenovirus receptor (CAR), CD46, or sialic acid are not conserved. The structure of the galectin domain reveals an interaction interface between its two carbohydrate recognition domains, locating both sugar binding sites face to face. Sequence evidence suggests other tandem-repeat galectins have the same arrangement. We show that the galectin domain binds carbohydrates containing lactose and N-acetyl-lactosamine units, and we present structures of the galectin domain with lactose, N-acetyl-lactosamine, 3-aminopropyl-lacto-N-neotetraose, and 2-aminoethyl-tri(N-acetyl-lactosamine), confirming the domain as a bona fide galectin domain.
We have developed a range of adenoviral (Ad) vectors based on human adenovirus serotype 5 (HAdV-5) displaying the fiber shaft and knob domains of species B viruses (HAdV-3, HAdV-11, or HAdV-35). These species B Ads utilize different cellular receptors than HAdV-5 for infection. We evaluated whether Ad vectors displaying species B fiber shaft and knob domains (Ad5F3Luc1, Ad5F11Luc1, and Ad5F35Luc1) would efficiently infect cancer cells of distinct origins, including prostate cancer.
The fiber chimeric Ad vectors were genetically generated and compared with the original Ad vector (Ad5Luc1) for transductional efficiency in a variety of cancer cell lines, including prostate cancer cells and primary prostate epithelial cells (PrEC), using luciferase as a reporter gene.
Prostate cancer cell lines infected with Ad5F3Luc1 expressed higher levels of luciferase than Ad5Luc1, as well as the other chimeric Ad vectors. We also analyzed the transductional efficiency via monitoring of luciferase activity in prostate cancer cells when expressed as a fraction of the gene transfer in PrEC cells. In the PC-3 and DU145 cell lines, the gene transfer ratio of cancer cells versus PrEC was once again highest for Ad5F3Luc1.
Of the investigated chimeric HAdV-5/species B vectors, Ad5F3Luc1 was judged to be the most suitable for targeting prostate cancer cells as it showed the highest transductional efficiency in these cells. It is foreseeable that an Ad vector incorporating the HAdV-3 fiber could potentially be used for prostate cancer gene therapy.
adenovirus; species B; fiber; prostate cancer; gene therapy
As the limits of existing treatments for cancer are recognized, clearly novel therapies must be considered for successful treatment; cancer therapy using adenovirus vectors is a promising strategy. However tracking the biodistribution of adenovirus vectors in vivo is limited to invasive procedures such as biopsies, which are error prone, non-quantitative, and do not give a full representation of the pharmacokinetics involved. Current non-invasive imaging strategies using reporter gene expression have been applied to analyze adenoviral vectors. The major drawback to approaches that tag viruses with reporter genes is that these systems require initial viral infection and subsequent cellular expression of a reporter gene to allow non-invasive imaging. As an alternative to conventional vector detection techniques, we developed a specific genetic labeling system whereby an adenoviral vector incorporates a fusion between capsid protein IX and human metallothionein. Our study herein clearly demonstrates our ability to rescue viable adenoviral particles that display functional metallothionein (MT) as a component of their capsid surface. We demonstrate the feasibility of 99mTc binding in vitro to the pIX-MT fusion on the capsid of adenovirus virions using a simple transchelation reaction. SPECT imaging of a mouse after administration of a 99mTc-radiolabeled virus showed clear localization of radioactivity to the liver. This result strongly supports imaging using pIX-MT, visualizing the normal biodistribution of Ad primarily to the liver upon injection into mice. The ability we have developed to view real-time biodistribution in their physiological milieu represents a significant tool to study adenovirus biology in vivo.
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.
Oncolytic adenoviruses represent a promising therapeutic medicine for human cancer therapy, but successful translation to human clinical trials requires careful evaluation of these viral characteristics. While the function of the adenovirus proteins have been analyzed in detail, the dynamics of adenovirus infection remain largely unknown due to technological constraints which prevent adequate tracking of the adenovirus particles after infection. Fluorescent labeling of the adenoviral particles is one new strategy designed to directly analyze dynamic processes of viral infection in virus-host cell interactions. We hypothesized that the double labeling technique of adenovirus with fluorescent proteins would allow us to properly analyze intracellular viruses and the fate of viral proteins in live analysis of adenovirus as compared to a single labeling. Thus, we generated a fluorescently labeled adenovirus with both a red fluorescent minor capsid protein IX (pIX-mRFP1) and a green fluorescent minor core protein V (pV-EGFP), resulting in Ad5-IX-mRFP1-E3-V-EGFP. The fluorescent signals for pIX-mRFP1 and pV-EGFP were detected within 10 min in living cells. However, the growth curve analysis of Ad5-IX-mRFP1-E3-V-EGFP showed approximately 150-fold reduced production of the viral progeny at 48 hours post-infection (h.p.i.) as compared to Ad5. Interestingly, pIX-mRFP1 and pV-EGFP were initially localized in the cytoplasm and the nucleolus, respectively, at 18 h.p.i. These proteins were observed in the nucleus during the late stage of infection and the relocalization of the proteins was observed in an adenoviral replication-dependent manner. These results indicate that the simultaneous detection of adenovirus using dual-fluorescent proteins is suitable for real-time analysis, including identification of infected cells, and monitoring viral spread, which will be required for complete evaluation of oncolytic adenoviruses.
adenovirus; fluorescent protein; pV; pIX; imaging