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1.  Adenovirus Vector Expressing Stx1/Stx2-Neutralizing Agent Protects Piglets Infected with Escherichia coli O157:H7 against Fatal Systemic Intoxication 
Infection and Immunity  2014;83(1):286-291.
Hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), caused by Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), remains untreatable. Production of human monoclonal antibodies against Stx, which are highly effective in preventing Stx sequelae in animal models, is languishing due to cost and logistics. We reported previously that the production and evaluation of a camelid heavy-chain-only VH domain (VHH)-based neutralizing agent (VNA) targeting Stx1 and Stx2 (VNA-Stx) protected mice from Stx1 and Stx2 intoxication. Here we report that a single intramuscular (i.m.) injection of a nonreplicating adenovirus (Ad) vector carrying a secretory transgene of VNA-Stx (Ad/VNA-Stx) protected mice challenged with Stx2 and protected gnotobiotic piglets infected with STEC from fatal systemic intoxication. One i.m. dose of Ad/VNA-Stx prevented fatal central nervous system (CNS) symptoms in 9 of 10 animals when it was given to piglets 24 h after bacterial challenge and in 5 of 9 animals when it was given 48 h after bacterial challenge, just prior to the onset of CNS symptoms. All 6 placebo animals died or were euthanized with severe CNS symptoms. Ad/VNA-Stx treatment had no impact on diarrhea. In conclusion, Ad/VNA-Stx treatment is effective in protecting piglets from fatal Stx2-mediated CNS complications following STEC challenge. With a low production cost and further development, this could presumably be an effective treatment for patients with HUS and/or individuals at high risk of developing HUS due to exposure to STEC.
PMCID: PMC4288880  PMID: 25368111
2.  Journal of ovarian research reviewer acknowledgement 2014 
Contributing reviewers
The editors of Journal of Ovarian Research would like to thank all of our reviewers who have contributed to the journal in Volume 7 (2014).
PMCID: PMC4486140
3.  Incorporation of Porcine Adenovirus 4 Fiber Protein Enhances Infectivity of Adenovirus Vector on Dendritic Cells: Implications for Immune-Mediated Cancer Therapy 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(5):e0125851.
One strategy in cancer immunotherapy is to capitalize on the key immunoregulatory and antigen presenting capabilities of dendritic cells (DCs). This approach is dependent on efficient delivery of tumor specific antigens to DCs, which subsequently induce an anti-tumor T-cell mediated immune response. Human adenovirus serotype 5 (HAdV5) has been used in human studies for gene delivery, but has limited infection in DCs, which lack the proper receptors. Addition of the porcine fiber knob (PK) from porcine adenovirus type 4 to HAdV5 allows the virus to deliver genetic material via binding to glycosylated surface proteins and bypasses the coxsackie-and-adenovirus receptor required by wild-type HAdV5. In this study we explored the potential therapeutic applications of an adenovirus with PK-based tropism against cancers expressing mesothelin. Infectivity and gene transfer assays were used to compare Ad5-PK to wild-type HAdV5. Mouse models were used to demonstrate peptide specificity and T-cell responses. We show that the PK modification highly augmented infection of DCs, including the CD141+ DC subset, a key subset for activation of naïve CD8+ T-cells. We also show that Ad5-PK increases DC infectivity and tumor specific antigen expression. Finally, vaccination of mice with the Ad5-PK vector resulted in enhanced T-cell-mediated interferon gamma (IFN-γ) release in response to both mesothelin peptide and a tumor line expressing mesothelin. Ad5-PK is a promising tool for cancer immunotherapy as it improves infectivity, gene transfer, protein expression, and subsequent T-cell activation in DCs compared to wild-type HAdV5 viruses.
PMCID: PMC4416912  PMID: 25933160
4.  Developing an Effective Gene Therapy for Prostate Cancer: New Technologies with Potential to Translate from the Laboratory into the Clinic 
Discovery medicine  2011;11(56):46-56.
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men in the U.S. At present, no single or combination therapy has shown efficacy in decreasing disease progression in patients with metastatic disease. A potentially viable approach for treating late-stage prostate cancer is gene therapy. Adenoviruses (Ad) are the most commonly used mode of gene delivery, but progress using this vector has been hampered by concerns over the safety and practicality of viruses including conditionally replicating Ads (CRAds), particularly for intravenous delivery, and the inefficiency of non-viral transfection techniques. Major challenges for effective gene therapy using Ads are the limited infectivity of regular Ad serotype 5 (Ad5) and the inability to specifically deliver the therapeutic directly into diseased tissue without trapping in the liver or elimination by the immune system. The shortcoming in using Ad5 is mostly attributed to a reduction in Coxsackie-adenovirus receptors (CAR) on the surface of cancer cells, which can be mitigated by generating tropism-modified Ads permitting CAR-independent infection of tumor cells. The limitations of systemic gene delivery can now be overcome by using a novel targeted-delivery approach such as ultrasound (US) contrast agents (microbubbles) to deliver effective therapeutic reagents, Ads, or recombinant proteins, combined with ultrasound-targeted microbubble destruction (UTMD), to develop a site-specific therapy in immune competent transgenic mouse models. These unique strategies for enhancing the efficacy of gene therapy provide a direct path to translation from the laboratory into the clinic for developing an effective gene therapy of prostate cancer.
PMCID: PMC4348040  PMID: 21276410
5.  Enhanced Prostate Cancer Gene Transfer and Therapy Using a Novel Serotype Chimera Cancer Terminator Virus (Ad.5/3-CTV) 
Journal of cellular physiology  2014;229(1):34-43.
Few options are available for treating patients with advanced prostate cancer (PC). As PC is a slow growing disease and accessible by ultrasound, gene therapy could provide a viable option for this neoplasm. Conditionally replication-competent adenoviruses (CRCAs) represent potentially useful reagents for treating PC. We previously constructed a CRCA, cancer terminator virus (CTV), which showed efficacy both in vitro and in vivo for PC. The CTV was generated on a serotype 5-background (Ad.5-CTV) with infectivity depending on Coxsackie-Adenovirus Receptors (CARs). CARs are frequently reduced in many tumor types, including PCs thereby limiting effective Ad-mediated therapy. Using serotype chimerism, a novel CTV (Ad.5/3-CTV) was created by replacing the Ad.5 fiber knob with the Ad.3 fiber knob thereby facilitating infection in a CAR-independent manner. We evaluated Ad.5/3-CTV in comparison with Ad.5-CTV in low CAR human PC cells, demonstrating higher efficiency in inhibiting cell viability in vitro. Moreover, Ad.5/3-CTV potently suppressed in vivo tumor growth in a nude mouse xenograft model and in a spontaneously induced PC that develops in Hi-myc transgenic mice. Considering the significant responses in a Phase I clinical trial of a non-replicating Ad.5-mda-7 in advanced cancers, Ad.5/3-CTV may exert improved therapeutic benefit in a clinical setting.
PMCID: PMC4332535  PMID: 23868767
6.  The myeloid binding peptide adenoviral vector enables multi-organ vascular endothelial gene targeting 
Vascular endothelial cells (ECs) are ideal gene therapy targets as they provide widespread tissue access and are the first contact surfaces following intravenous vector administration. Human recombinant adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad5) is the most frequently used gene transfer system because of its appreciable transgene payload capacity and lack of somatic mutation risk. However, standard Ad5 vectors predominantly transduce liver but not the vasculature following intravenous administration. We recently developed an Ad5 vector with a myeloid cell-binding peptide (MBP) incorporated into the knob-deleted, T4 fibritin chimeric fiber (Ad.MBP)1.This vector was shown to transduce pulmonary ECs presumably via a vector handoff mechanism. Here we tested the body wide tropism of the Ad.MBP vector, its myeloid cell necessity, and vector-EC expression dose response. Using comprehensive multi-organ co-immunofluorescence analysis, we discovered that Ad.MBP produced widespread EC transduction in lung, heart, kidney, skeletal muscle, pancreas, small bowel, and brain. Surprisingly, Ad.MBP retained hepatocyte tropism albeit at a reduced frequency compared with standard Ad5. While binding specifically to myeloid cells ex vivo, multi-organ Ad.MBP expression was not dependent on circulating monocytes or macrophages. Ad.MBP dose de-escalation maintained full lung targeting capacity but drastically reduced transgene expression in other organs. Swapping the EC-specific ROBO4 for the CMV promoter/enhancer abrogated hepatocyte expression but also reduced gene expression in other organs. Collectively, our multilevel targeting strategy could enable therapeutic biologic production in previously inaccessible organs that initiate the most debilitating or lethal human diseases.
PMCID: PMC4117817  PMID: 24955893
adenovirus vector; gene therapy; endothelial cell; gene transfer
7.  Adenoviral targeting using genetically incorporated camelid single variable domains 
The unique ability of human adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad5) to accomplish efficient transduction has allowed the use of Ad5-based vectors for a range of gene therapy applications. Several strategies have been developed to alter tropism of Ad vectors to achieve a cell-specific gene delivery by employing fiber modifications via genetic incorporation of targeting motifs. In this study we have explored the utility of novel anti-human carcinoembryonic antigen (hCEA) single variable domains derived from heavy chain (VHH) camelid family of antibodies to achieve targeted gene transfer. To obtain anti-CEA VHHs we produced a VHH-display library from peripheral blood lymphocytes RNA of alpacas at the peak of immune response to the hCEA antigen. We genetically incorporated an anti-hCEA VHH into a de-knobbed Ad5 fiber-fibritin chimera and demonstrated selective targeting to the cognate epitope expressed on the membrane surface of target cells. We report that the anti-hCEA VHH employed in this study retains antigen recognition functionality and provides specificity for gene transfer of capsid-modified Ad5 vectors. These studies clearly demonstrated the feasibility of retargeting of Ad5-based gene transfer using VHHs.
PMCID: PMC4157633  PMID: 24933423
Adenovirus; Targeted gene transfer; Single variable domain; Carcinoembryonic antigen; single domain antibody
8.  Experimental virotherapy of chemoresistant pancreatic carcinoma using infectivity-enhanced fiber-mosaic oncolytic adenovirus 
Cancer gene therapy  2014;21(7):264-274.
Pancreatic cancer is a significant clinical problem and novel therapeutic approaches are desperately needed. Recent advances in conditionally replicative adenovirus-based (CRAd) oncolytic virus design allow the application of CRAd vectors as a therapeutic strategy to efficiently target and eradicate chemoresistant pancreatic cancer cells thereby improving the efficacy of pancreatic cancer treatment. The goal of this study was to construct and validate the efficacy of an infectivity-enhanced, liver-untargeted, tumor-specific CRAd vector. A panel of CRAds has been derived which embody the C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4 promoter for conditional replication, two fiber complex mosaicism for targeting expansion, and hexon hypervariable region 7 (HVR7) modification for liver untargeting. We evaluated CRAds for cancer virotherapy using a human pancreatic tumor xenograft model. Employment of the fiber mosaic approach improved CRAd replication in pancreatic tumor xenografts. Substitution of the HVR7 of the Ad5 hexon for Ad serotype 3 hexon resulted in decreased liver tropism of systemically administrated CRAd. Obtained data demonstrated that employment of complex mosaicism increased efficacy of the combination of oncolytic virotherapy with chemotherapy in a human pancreatic tumor xenograft model.
PMCID: PMC4157623  PMID: 24903014
targeted oncolytic adenovirus; pancreatic cancer; gemcitabine; fiber; hexon
9.  Retargeting of Gene Expression Using Endothelium Specific Hexon Modified Adenoviral Vector 
Virology  2013;447(0):312-325.
Adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad5) vectors are well suited for gene therapy. However, tissue-selective transduction by systemically administered Ad5-based vectors is confounded by viral particle sequestration in the liver. Hexon-modified Ad5 expressing reporter gene under transcriptional control by the immediate/early cytomegalovirus (CMV) or the Roundabout 4 receptor (Robo4) enhancer/promoter were characterized by growth in cell culture, stability in vitro, gene transfer in the presence of human coagulation factor X, and biodistribution in mice. The obtained data demonstrate the utility of the Robo4 promoter in an Ad5 vector context. Substitution of the hypervariable region 7 (HVR7) of the Ad5 hexon with HVR7 from Ad serotype 3 resulted in decreased liver tropism and dramatically altered biodistribution of gene expression. The results of these studies suggest that the combination of liver detargeting using a genetic modification of hexon with an endothelium-specific transcriptional control element produces an additive effect in the improvement of Ad5 biodistribution.
PMCID: PMC3894856  PMID: 24210128
adenovirus; targeting; endothelium; Roundabout 4 promoter; hexon
10.  Analysis of purified Wild type and mutant adenovirus particles by SILAC based quantitative proteomics 
The Journal of General Virology  2014;95(Pt 11):2504-2511.
We used SILAC (stable isotope labelling of amino acids in cell culture) and high-throughput quantitative MS mass spectrometry to analyse the protein composition of highly purified WT wild type adenoviruses, mutant adenoviruses lacking an internal protein component (protein V) and recombinant adenoviruses of the type commonly used in gene therapy, including one virus that had been used in a clinical trial. We found that the viral protein abundance and composition were consistent across all types of virus examined except for the virus lacking protein V, which also had reduced amounts of another viral core protein, protein VII. In all the samples analysed we found no evidence of consistent packaging or contamination with cellular proteins. We believe this technique is a powerful method to analyse the protein composition of this important gene therapy vector and genetically engineered or synthetic virus-like particles. The raw data have been deposited at proteomexchange, identifer PXD001120.
PMCID: PMC4202269  PMID: 25096814
11.  Towards gene therapy of endometriosis: transductional and transcriptional targeting of adenoviral vectors to endometriosis cells 
To screen a panel of targeted adenoviruses as vectors for endometriosis gene therapy.
Endometriotic cells were obtained from subjects with ovarian endometriomas. Liver tissues were taken from donors during hepatic transplantation surgery. Human endometriotic cells and liver tissues were transfected by targeted adenoviruses expressing luciferase reporter gene. Luciferase Activity mediated by each virus was expressed as a percentage of adenovirus serotype 5 activity. Two-tailed Student’s t test was used to compare the adenovirus data.
In endometriosic cells, the adenovirus-RGD (Ad5-RGD-luc), adenovirus under secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor promoter (Ad-SLPI-luc), and adenovirus under heparanse promoter (Ad-heparanase-luc) showed significantly higher activity as compared to the adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad5-CMV-luc). In liver tissues, adenovirus-survivin (Ad-survivin-luc) and Ad-heparanase-luc had significantly lower activity compared with Ad5-CMV-luc.
Ad-heparanase-luc showed “endometriosis on, liver off” phenotype and is promising vector for endometriosis gene therapy.
PMCID: PMC4191855  PMID: 18674655
adenovirus; targeting; endometriosis; gene therapy
12.  Therapeutic Improvement of a Stroma-Targeted CRAd by Incorporating Motives Responsive to the Melanoma Microenvironment 
We have previously designed a conditionally replicative oncolytic adenovirus (CRAd) named Ad-F512 that can target both the stromal and the malignant melanoma cell compartments. The replication capacity of this CRAd is driven by a 0.5-Kb SPARC promoter fragment (named F512). To improve CRAd’s efficacy, we cloned into F512 motives responsive to hypoxia (hypoxia-responsive element (HRE)) and inflammation (nuclear factor kappa B) to obtain a chimeric promoter named κBF512HRE. Using luciferase as a reporter gene, we observed 10–15-fold increased activity under hypoxia and 10–80-fold induction upon tumor necrosis factor-α addition. We next constructed a CRAd (Ad-κBF512HRE) where E1A activity was under κBF512HRE regulation. Treatment of nude mice harboring established tumors made of a mix of SB2 melanoma cells and WI-38 fibroblasts with Ad-κBF512HRE led to the complete elimination of tumors in 100% of mice (8/8). Moreover, Ad-5/3-κBF512HRE, a viral variant pseudotyped with a chimeric 5/3 fiber, exerted a strong lytic effect on CAR-negative melanoma cells and was highly effective in vivo on established tumors made of melanoma cells and WI-38 fibroblasts, leading to the complete elimination of 4/5 tumors. These results indicate that this improved stroma-targeted oncolytic adenovirus can override the resistance of melanoma tumors and might become of significant importance for melanoma therapeutics.
PMCID: PMC4159097  PMID: 23604101
13.  A Phase I Clinical Trial of Ad5/3-Δ24, a Novel Serotype-Chimeric, Infectivity-Enhanced, Conditionally-Replicative Adenovirus (CRAd), in Patients with Recurrent Ovarian Cancer 
Gynecologic oncology  2013;130(3):518-524.
The conditionally replicative adenovirus Ad5/3-Δ24 has a type-3 knob incorporated into the type-5 fiber that facilitates enhanced ovarian cancer infectivity. Preclinical studies have shown that Ad5/3-Δ24 achieves significant oncolysis and antitumor activity in ovarian cancer models. The purpose of this study was to evaluate in a Phase I trial the feasibility and safety of intraperitoneal (IP) Ad5/3-Δ24 in recurrent ovarian cancer patients.
Eligible patients were treated with IP Ad5/3-Δ24 for 3 consecutive days in one of three dose cohorts ranging 1 × 1010–1 × 1012 vp. Toxicity was assessed utilizing CTC grading and efficacy with RECIST. Ascites, serum, and other samples were obtained to evaluate gene transfer, generation of wildtype virus, viral shedding, and antibody response.
Nine of 10 patients completed treatment per protocol. A total of 15 vector-related adverse events were experienced in 5 patients. These events included fever or chills, nausea, fatigue, and myalgia. All were grade 1–2 in nature, transient, and medically managed. Of the 8 treated patients evaluable for response, six patients had stable disease and 2 patients had progressive disease. Three patients had decreased CA-125 from pretreatment levels one month after treatment. Ancillary biologic studies indicated Ad5/3-Δ24 replication in patients in the higher dose cohorts. All patients experienced an anti-adenoviral neutralizing antibody effect.
This study suggests the feasibility and safety of a serotype chimeric infectivity-enhanced CRAd, Ad5/3-Δ24, as a potential therapeutic option for recurrent ovarian cancer patients.
PMCID: PMC3748258  PMID: 23756180
CRAd; gene therapy; infectivity-enhanced adenoviral vectors; ovarian cancer
14.  Prolonged Prophylactic Protection from Botulism with a Single Adenovirus Treatment Promoting Serum Expression of a VHH-Based Antitoxin Protein 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e106422.
Current therapies for most acute toxin exposures are limited to administration of polyclonal antitoxin serum. We have shown that VHH-based neutralizing agents (VNAs) consisting of two or more linked, toxin-neutralizing heavy-chain-only VH domains (VHHs), each binding distinct epitopes, can potently protect animals from lethality in several intoxication models including Botulinum neurotoxin serotype A1 (BoNT/A1). Appending a 14 amino acid albumin binding peptide (ABP) to an anti-BoNT/A1 heterodimeric VNA (H7/B5) substantially improved serum stability and resulted in an effective VNA serum half-life of 1 to 2 days. A recombinant, replication-incompetent, adenoviral vector (Ad/VNA-BoNTA) was engineered that induces secretion of biologically active VNA, H7/B5/ABP (VNA-BoNTA), from transduced cells. Mice administered a single dose of Ad/VNA-BoNTA, or a different Ad/VNA, via different administration routes led to a wide range of VNA serum levels measured four days later; generally intravenous > intraperitoneal > intramuscular > subcutaneous. Ad/VNA-BoNTA treated mice were 100% protected from 10 LD50 of BoNT/A1 for more than six weeks and protection positively correlated with serum levels of VNA-BoNTA exceeding about 5 ng/ml. Some mice developed antibodies that inhibited VNA binding to target but these mice displayed no evidence of kidney damage due to deposition of immune complexes. Mice were also successfully protected from 10 LD50 BoNT/A1 when Ad/VNA-BoNTA was administered up to 1.5 hours post-intoxication, demonstrating rapid appearance of the protective VNA in serum following treatment. Genetic delivery of VNAs promises to be an effective method of providing prophylactic protection and/or acute treatments for many toxin-mediated diseases.
PMCID: PMC4149568  PMID: 25170904
15.  Fiber-Modified Adenovirus for Central Nervous System Parkinson’s Disease Gene Therapy 
Viruses  2014;6(8):3293-3310.
Gene-based therapies for neurological diseases continue to develop briskly. As disease mechanisms are elucidated, flexible gene delivery platforms incorporating transcriptional regulatory elements, therapeutic genes and targeted delivery are required for the safety and efficacy of these approaches. Adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad5)-based vectors can carry large genetic payloads to provide this flexibility, but do not transduce neuronal cells efficiently. To address this, we have developed a tropism-modified Ad5 vector with neuron-selective targeting properties for evaluation in models of Parkinson disease therapy. A panel of tropism-modified Ad5 vectors was screened for enhanced gene delivery in a neuroblastoma cell line model system. We used these observations to design and construct an unbiased Ad vector platform, consisting of an unmodified Ad5 and a tropism-modified Ad5 vector containing the fiber knob domain from canine Ad serotype 2 (Ad5-CGW-CK2). Delivery to the substantia nigra or striatum showed that this vector produced a neuronally-restricted pattern of gene expression. Many of the transduced neurons were from regions with afferent projections to the injection site, implicating that the vector binds the presynaptic terminal resulting in presynaptic transduction. We show that Ad5-CGW-CK2 can selectively transduce neurons in the brain and hypothesize that this modular platform is potentially adaptable to clinical use.
PMCID: PMC4147696  PMID: 25196484
gene therapy; adenovirus; brain; CNS; Parkinson disease
16.  Anion Binding Studies on Receptors Derived from the Indolo[2,3-a]carbazole Scaffold Having Different Binding Cavity Sizes 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2014;14(8):14038-14049.
The indolo[2,3-a]carbazole scaffold is a fused polyheteroaromatic system bearing two NH groups which suitably converge as hydrogen bond donor sites for the recognition of anions. A simple derivatisation of the indolocarbazole system at positions 1 and 10 with different functional groups, namely alcohols and amides, has contributed to modulate the anion binding selectivity and sensibility. A particularly good response has been obtained for the benzoate anion.
PMCID: PMC4178996  PMID: 25090420
supramolecular chemistry; anions; indolocarbazole ring; benzoate anion; fluorescence spectroscopy; absorption spectroscopy
17.  A Phase I Clinical Trial of Ad5.SSTR/TK.RGD, a Novel Infectivity-Enhanced Bicistronic Adenovirus, in Patients with Recurrent Gynecologic Cancer 
Ad5.SSTR/TK.RGD is an infectivity-enhanced adenovirus expressing a therapeutic thymidine kinase suicide gene and a somatostatin receptor that allows for noninvasive gene transfer imaging. The purpose of this study was to identify the MTD, toxicities, clinical efficacy and biologic effects of Ad5.SSTR/TK.RGD in patients with recurrent gynecologic cancer.
Experimental Design
Eligible patients were treated intraperitoneally (IP) for 3 days with 1×109 to 1×1012 vp/dose of Ad5.SSTR/TK.RGD followed by intravenous ganciclovir for 14 days. Toxicity and clinical efficacy were assessed utilizing CTC Adverse Events grading and RECIST criteria. Imaging utilizing In-111 pentetreotide was obtained before and after treatment. Tissue samples were obtained to evaluate for gene transfer, generation of wild-type virus, viral shedding and antibody response.
Twelve patients were treated in three cohorts. The most common vector-related clinical toxicities were grade 1–2 constitutional or pain symptoms, experienced most often in patients treated at the highest dose. MTD was not identified. Five patients demonstrated stable disease; all others experienced progressive disease. One patient with stable disease experienced complete resolution of disease and normalization of CA125 on further follow-up. Imaging detected increased In-111 pentetreotide retention in patients treated at the highest dose. Ancillary studies demonstrated presence of Ad5.SSTR/TK.RGD virus and HSV1-tk expression in ascites samples collected at various time points in most patients treated within the higher dose cohorts.
This study demonstrates the safety, potential efficacy, and possible gene transfer imaging capacity of Ad5.SSTR/TK.RGD in patients with recurrent gynecologic cancer. Further development of this novel gene therapeutic appears to be warranted.
PMCID: PMC4065594  PMID: 22510347
Suicide gene therapy; gene transfer imaging; infectivity enhanced adenoviral vectors; ovarian cancer; endometrial cancer
18.  Journal of Ovarian Research reviewer acknowledgement 2013 
Contributing reviewers
The editors of Journal of Ovarian Research would like to thank all of our reviewers who have contributed to the journal in volume 6 (2013).
PMCID: PMC4234931  PMID: 24716855
19.  Species D Human Adenovirus Type 9 Exhibits Better Virus-Spread Ability for Antitumor Efficacy among Alternative Serotypes 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e87342.
Species C human adenovirus serotype 5 (HAdV-C5) is widely used as a vector for cancer gene therapy, because it efficiently transduces target cells. A variety of HAdV-C5 vectors have been developed and tested in vitro and in vivo for cancer gene therapy. While clinical trials with HAdV-C5 vectors resulted in effective responses in many cancer patients, administration of HAdV-C5 vectors to solid tumors showed responses in a limited area. A biological barrier in tumor mass is considered to hinder viral spread of HAdV-C5 vectors from infected cells. Therefore, efficient virus-spread from an infected tumor cell to surrounding tumor cells is required for successful cancer gene therapy. In this study, we compared HAdV-C5 to sixteen other HAdV serotypes selected from species A to G for virus-spread ability in vitro. HAdV-D9 showed better virus-spread ability than other serotypes, and its viral progeny were efficiently released from infected cells during viral replication. Although the HAdV-D9 fiber protein contains a binding site for coxsackie B virus and adenovirus receptor (CAR), HAdV-D9 showed expanded tropism for infection due to human CAR (hCAR)-independent attachment to target cells. HAdV-D9 infection effectively killed hCAR-negative cancer cells as well as hCAR-positive cancer cells. These results suggest that HADV-D9, with its better virus-spread ability, could have improved therapeutic efficacy in solid tumors compared to HAdV-C5.
PMCID: PMC3913592  PMID: 24503714
20.  A myeloid cell-binding adenovirus efficiently targets gene transfer to the lung and escapes liver tropism 
Gene therapy  2012;20(7):733-741.
Specific and efficient gene delivery to the lung has been hampered by liver sequestration of adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad5) vectors. The complexity of Ad5 liver tropism has largely been unraveled, permitting improved efficacy of Ad5 gene delivery. However, Kupffer cell (KC) scavenging and elimination of Ad5 still represent major obstacles to lung gene delivery strategies. KC uptake substantially reduces bioavailability of Ad5 for target tissues and compensatory dose escalation leads to acute hepatotoxicity and a potent innate immune response. Here we report a novel lung-targeting strategy through redirection of Ad5 binding to the concentrated leukocyte pool within the pulmonary microvasculature. We demonstrate that this leukocyte-binding approach retargets Ad5 specifically to lung endothelial cells and prevents KC uptake and hepatocyte transduction, resulting in 165 000-fold enhanced lung-targeting, compared to Ad5. Additionally, myeloid cell-specific binding is preserved in single cell lung suspensions and only Ad.MBP-coated myeloid cells achieved efficient endothelial cell transduction ex vivo. These findings demonstrate that KC sequestration of Ad5 can be prevented through more efficient uptake of virions in target tissues and suggest endothelial transduction is achieved by leukocyte-mediated “hand-off” of Ad.
PMCID: PMC3764611  PMID: 23171918
adenovirus; targeting; pulmonary; myeloid; endothelial cell; vasculature
21.  Transcriptional Targeting of Primary and Metastatic Tumor Neovasculature by an Adenoviral Type 5 Roundabout4 Vector in Mice 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e83933.
New approaches targeting metastatic neovasculature are needed. Payload capacity, cellular transduction efficiency, and first-pass cellular uptake following systemic vector administration, motivates persistent interest in tumor vascular endothelial cell (EC) adenoviral (Ad) vector targeting. While EC transductional and transcriptional targeting has been accomplished, vector administration approaches of limited clinical utility, lack of tumor-wide EC expression quantification, and failure to address avid liver sequestration, challenged prior work. Here, we intravenously injected an Ad vector containing 3 kb of the human roundabout4 (ROBO4) enhancer/promoter transcriptionally regulating an enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) reporter into immunodeficient mice bearing 786-O renal cell carcinoma subcutaneous (SC) xenografts and kidney orthotopic (KO) tumors. Initial experiments performed in human coxsackie virus and adenovirus receptor (hCAR) transgenic:Rag2 knockout mice revealed multiple ECs with high-level Ad5ROBO4-EGFP expression throughout KO and SC tumors. In contrast, Ad5CMV-EGFP was sporadically expressed in a few tumor vascular ECs and stromal cells. As the hCAR transgene also facilitated Ad5ROBO4 and control Ad5CMV vector EC expression in multiple host organs, follow-on experiments engaged warfarin-mediated liver vector detargeting in hCAR non-transgenic mice. Ad5ROBO4-mediated EC expression was undetectable in most host organs, while the frequencies of vector expressing intratumoral vessels and whole tumor EGFP protein levels remained elevated. In contrast, AdCMV vector expression was only detectable in one or two stromal cells throughout the whole tumor. The Ad5ROBO4 vector, in conjunction with liver detargeting, provides tractable genetic access for in-vivo EC genetic engineering in malignancies.
PMCID: PMC3871592  PMID: 24376772
22.  Virotherapy Using a Novel Chimeric Oncolytic Adenovirus Prolongs Survival in a Human Pancreatic Cancer Xenograft Model 
Surgery  2012;152(3):441-448.
Pancreatic adenocarcinoma is an aggressive malignancy. Oncolytic Ads are genetically modified to target tumor cells while sparing normal cells. We modified the knob domain of the adenovirus (Ad) serotype 5 with a serotype 3 knob domain and incorporated the CXCR4 promoter to regulate Ad E1A gene expression (Ad5/3-CXCR4-E1A). These modifications were made to efficiently infect and lyse pancreatic tumors.
Human pancreatic cancer lines CFPAC-1, PANC-1, AsPC-1, and BxPC-3 were obtained from ATCC. Efficiency of Ad infection in the cells was determined using an Ad construct expressing the green fluorescence protein (GFP) marker in place of the E1A gene (Ad5/3-CXCR4-GFP) and quantified by flow cytometry. Oncolytic activity in the pancreatic cancer cells was determined using the Ad5/3-CXCR4-E1A oncolytic Ad by a crystal violet staining method. To determine the oncolytic effect in vivo, pancreatic cancer cells were implanted on the flanks of 40 SCID mice (4 groups). Tumors were injected intratumorally for 3 days with Ad5/3-CXCR4-E1A, Ad5 wild-type (a positive control), or phosphate buffered saline (a no virus control). Tumor size, overall survival and body condition scale (BCS) were recorded. Statistical analyses included the Kaplan-Meier survival curve, the log-rank test, and ANOVA 1-way.
The serotype 3 fiber-modified Ad with the CXCR4 promoter (Ad5/3-CXCR4-E1A) was most efficient in infecting and lysing pancreatic cancer cells compared with an Ad containing an unmodified fiber knob (Ad5-CXCR4-E1A). Treatment of pancreatic tumor xenografts in vivo with Ad5/3-CXCR4-E1A group resulted in significantly smaller tumors (p = 0.001), higher BCS (p = 0.01), and longer survival time (p = 0.04) than the other treatment groups.
Ad5/3-CXCR4-E1A treatment significantly prolonged survival in SCID mice pancreatic tumor xenografts. This novel construct represents a potential new therapy against pancreatic cancer.
PMCID: PMC3432747  PMID: 22853858
Ad5/3; adenovirus; chemokine receptor; CXCR4; oncolytic virus; fiber chimera; pancreatic adenocarcinoma; serotype; virotherapy
23.  CD40-targeted adenoviral cancer vaccines: the long and winding road to the clinic 
The journal of gene medicine  2012;14(6):416-427.
The ability of Dendritic Cells (DC) to orchestrate innate and adaptive immune responses has been exploited to develop potent anti-cancer immunotherapies. Recent clinical trials exploring the efficacy of ex vivo modified autologous DC-based vaccines have reported some promising results. However, in vitro generation of autologous DC for clinical administration, their loading with tumor associated antigens (TAA) and their activation, is laborious and expensive, and, due to interindividual variability in the personalized vaccines, poorly standardized. An attractive alternative approach is to load resident DC in vivo by targeted delivery of TAA , using viral vectors and activating them simultaneously. To this end we have constructed genetically modified Adenoviral (Ad) vectors and bispecific adaptor molecules to retarget Ad vectors encoding TAA to the CD40 receptor on DC. Preclinical human and murine studies conducted so far have clearly demonstrated the suitability of a “two-component”, i.e. Ad and adaptor molecule, configuration for targeted modification of DC in vivo for cancer immunotherapy. This review summarizes recent progress in the development of CD40-targeted Ad-based cancer vaccines and highlights pre-clinical issues in clinical translation of this approach.
PMCID: PMC3433169  PMID: 22228547
24.  Adenovirus Strategies for Tissue-Specific Targeting 
Advances in cancer research  2012;115:39-67.
Cancer gene therapy approaches have benefited greatly from the utilization of molecular-based therapeutics. Of these, adenovirus-based interventions hold much promise as a platform for targeted therapeutic delivery to tumors. However, a barrier to this progression is the lack of native adenovirus receptor expression on a variety of cancer types. As such, any adenovirus-based cancer therapy must take into consideration retargeting the vector to nonnative cellular surface receptors. Predicated upon the knowledge gained in native adenovirus biology, several strategies to transductionally retarget adenovirus have emerged. Herein, we describe the biological hurdles as well as strategies utilized in adenovirus transductional targeting, covering the progress of both adapter-based and genetic manipulation-based targeting. Additionally, we discuss recent translation of these targeting strategies into a clinical setting.
PMCID: PMC3664935  PMID: 23021241
25.  Enhanced delivery of mda-7/IL-24 using a serotype chimeric adenovirus (Ad.5/3) in combination with the Apogossypol derivative BI-97C1 (Sabutoclax) improves therapeutic efficacy in low CAR colorectal cancer cells 
Journal of Cellular Physiology  2012;227(5):2145-2153.
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.
PMCID: PMC3228880  PMID: 21780116
Viral gene therapy; Mcl-1 inhibition; apoptosis induction; anti-tumor activity

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