Cyclophosphamide increases transgene expression mediated by an oncolytic adenovirus in glioma-bearing mice monitored by bioluminescence imaging.
ABSTRACT: Approaches to improve the oncolytic potency of replication-competent adenoviruses include the insertion of therapeutic transgenes into the viral genome. Little is known about the levels and duration of in vivo transgene expression by cells infected with such "armed" viruses. Using a tumor-selective adenovirus encoding firefly luciferase (AdDelta24CMV-Luc) we investigated these questions in an intracranial mouse model for malignant glioma. Luciferase expression was detected by bioluminescence imaging, and the effect of the immunosuppressive agent cyclophosphamide (CPA) on transgene expression was assessed. Intratumoral AdDelta24CMV-Luc injection led to a localized dose-dependent expression of luciferase. Surprisingly, this expression decreased rapidly during the course of 14 days. In contrast, mice injected with nonreplicating Ad.CMV-Luc demonstrated stable transgene expression. Treatment of mice with CPA in combination with AdDelta24CMV-Luc retarded the loss of transgene expression. Staining of mouse brains for inflammatory cells demonstrated decreased tumor infiltration by immune cells in CPA-treated mice. Moreover, in immunodeficient NOD/SCID mice loss of transgene expression was less rapid and not prevented by CPA treatment. Together, our data demonstrate that transgene expression and viral replication decrease rapidly after intratumoral injection of oncolytic adenovirus in mouse brains and that treatment with the immunomodulator CPA prolongs viral-mediated gene expression.
Project description:We have previously reported that intratumoral injection of VRX-007--an Ad5 (a species C adenovirus)-based vector overexpressing adenovirus death protein--can suppress the growth of subcutaneous HaK (hamster renal cancer) tumors. VRX-007 replication and tumor growth inhibition are enhanced when the hamsters are immunosuppressed by a high dose of cyclophosphamide (CP), an immunosuppressive and chemotherapeutic agent. Here, we report that continuous immunosuppression with CP was not required for increased oncolytic activity of VRX-007 because short-term dosing or continuous dosing with the drug yielded similar antitumor results. Prolonged viral replication was found only in animals on continuous CP treatment. We used 007-Luc, a replication-competent, luciferase-expressing vector similar to VRX-007, to investigate the replication of the vector over time. Tumor growth inhibition was similar in hamsters given CP treatment either 1 week before or 1 week after 007-Luc injection, which suggests that CP exerts its antitumor efficacy independently of vector therapy. 007-Luc did not spread far from the inoculation site, even in immunosuppressed, CP-treated animals. Our results indicate that the enhanced effectiveness that is produced by the combination of VRX-007 and CP therapies is due to their two independent mechanisms and that they do not have to be given simultaneously for the improved outcome.
Project description:Replication-competent (oncolytic) adenoviruses (OAV) can be adapted as vectors for the delivery of therapeutic genes, with the aim of extending the antitumor effect beyond direct cytolysis. Transgene expression using these vectors is usually intense but short-lived, and repeated administrations are hampered by the rapid appearance of neutralizing antibodies (NAbs). We have studied the performance of monocytes as cell carriers to improve transgene expression in cancer models established in athymic mice and immunocompetent Syrian hamsters. Human and hamster monocytic cell lines (MonoMac6 and HM-1, respectively) were loaded with replication-competent adenovirus-expressing luciferase. Intravenous administration of these cells caused a modest increase in transgene expression in tumor xenografts, but this effect was virtually lost in hamsters. In contrast, intratumoral administration of HM-1 cells allowed repeated cycles of expression and achieved partial protection from NAbs in preimmunized hamsters bearing pancreatic tumors. To explore the therapeutic potential of this approach, HM-1 cells were loaded with a hypoxia-inducible OAV expressing the immunostimulatory cytokine interleukin-12 (IL-12). Three cycles of treatment achieved a significant antitumor effect in the hamster model, and transgene expression was detected following each administration, in contrast with the rapid neutralization of the free virus. We propose monocytes as carriers for multiple intratumoral administrations of armed OAVs.
Project description:Oncolytic adenoviruses are promising anticancer agents due to their ability to self-amplify at the tumor mass. However, tumor stroma imposes barriers difficult to overcome by these agents. Transgene expression is a valuable strategy to counteract these limitations and to enhance antitumor activity. For this purpose, the genetic backbone in which the transgene is inserted should be optimized to render transgene expression compatible with the adenovirus replication cycle and to keep genome size within the encapsidation size limit. In order to design a potent and selective oncolytic adenovirus that keeps intact all the viral functions with minimal increase in genome size, we inserted palindromic E2F-binding sites into the endogenous E1A promoter. The insertion of these sites controlling E1A-Δ24 results in a low systemic toxicity profile in mice. Importantly, the E2F-binding sites also increased the cytotoxicity and the systemic antitumor activity relative to wild-type adenovirus in all cancer models tested. The low toxicity and the increased potency results in improved antitumor efficacy after systemic injection and increased survival of mice carrying tumors. Furthermore, the constrained genome size of this backbone allows an efficient and potent expression of transgenes, indicating that this virus holds promise for overcoming the limitations of oncolytic adenoviral therapy.
Project description:Secretogranin III (SGC3) belongs to the granin family and is highly expressed in endocrine and neural tissues. The human SCG3 promoter has not yet been characterized. We identified that a 0.5-kb DNA fragment upstream of the SCG3 gene can selectively drive transgene expression in neuroblastoma cell lines. The strength of transgene expression was further increased, with specificity maintained, by addition of the human achaete-scute complex homolog 1 (ASH1) enhancer. We developed an oncolytic serotype 5-based adenovirus, in which the SCG3 promoter and ASH1 enhancer drive E1A gene expression. The virus was further modified with a cell-penetrating peptide (Tat-PTD) in the viral capsid, which we have previously shown results in increased adenovirus transduction efficiency of many neuroblastoma cell lines. The virus, Ad5PTD(ASH1-SCG3-E1A), shows selective and efficient killing of neuroblastoma cell lines in vitro, including cisplatin-, etoposide-, and doxorubicin-insensitive neuroblastoma cells. Furthermore, it delays tumor growth and thereby prolonged survival for nude mice harboring subcutaneous human neuroblastoma xenograft. In conclusion, we report a novel oncolytic adenovirus with potential use for neuroblastoma therapy.
Project description:The goal is to elucidate the immune modulating activity of an adenovirus (Adv) vector which showed therapeutic activity in human clinical trials. The oncolytic adenovirus (Adv/CD-TK) expressing two suicide genes was tested in two HER2/neu positive BALB/c mouse mammary tumor systems: rat neu-induced TUBO and human HER2-transfected D2F2/E2. Intra-tumoral (i.t.) Adv/CD-TK injection of TUBO tumor plus systemic prodrug therapy showed limited antitumor activity, not exceeding that by the virus itself. Antibody (Ab) to the virus was induced in Adv-/Luc-treated mice, to coincide with the loss of transgene expression. Low replication activity of adenoviruses in rodent cells may limit viral persistence. Host immunity against Adv or Adv-infected cells further mutes suicide gene activity. Treatment of TUBO tumors with Adv/CD-TK alone, however, induced neu-specific Ab responses. Treatment with Adv/CD-TK/GM (Adv/GM) that also expressed mouse granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF), but without prodrug treatment, delayed tumor growth, enhanced anti-neu Ab production and conferred complete protection against secondary tumor challenge. D2F2/E2 tumor-bearing mice showed decreased tumor growth following i.t. Adv/GM treatment and they generated greater HER2-specific T-cell responses. These data suggest that i.t. injection of Adv itself induces immune reactivity to tumor-associated antigens and the encoded cytokine, GM-CSF, amplifies that immune response, resulting in tumor growth inhibition. Incorporation of suicide gene therapy did not improve the efficacy of Adv therapy in this mouse mammary tumor system. Oncolytic adenoviral therapy may be streamlined and improved by substituting the suicide genes with immune modulating genes to exploit tumor immunity for therapeutic benefit.
Project description:Our previous studies have suggested that harboring a soluble coxsackie-adenovirus receptor-ligand (sCAR-ligand) fusion protein expression cassette in the viral genome may provide a universal method to redirect oncolytic adenoviruses to various membrane receptors on cancer cells resisting to serotype 5 adenovirus infection. We report here a novel oncolytic adenovirus vector redirected to CD47+ leukemia cells though carrying a sCAR-4N1 expression cassette in the viral genome, forming Ad.4N1, in which 4N1 represents the C-terminal CD47-binding domain of thrombospondin-1. The infection and cytotoxicity of Ad.4N1 in leukemia cells were determined to be mediated by the 4N1-CD47 interaction. Ad.4N1 was further engineered to harbor a gene encoding melanoma differentiation-associated gene-7/interleukin-24 (mda-7/IL-24), forming Ad.4N1-IL24, which replicated dramatically faster than Ad.4N1, and elicited significantly enhanced antileukemia effect in vitro and in a HL60/Luc xenograft mouse model. Our data suggest that Ad.4N1 could act as a novel oncolytic adenovirus vector for CD47+ leukemia targeting gene transfer, and Ad.4N1 harboring anticancer genes may provide novel antileukemia agents.
Project description:PURPOSE:Intratumoral injection of oncolytic adenovirus Delta-24-RGDOX induces efficacious antiglioma immunity in syngeneic glioma mouse models. We hypothesized that localized treatment with the virus is effective against disseminated melanomas. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN:We tested the therapeutic effect of injecting Delta-24-RGDOX into primary subcutaneous (s.c.) B16-Red-FLuc tumors in s.c./s.c. and s.c./intracranial (i.c.) melanoma models in C57BL/6 mice. Tumor growth and in vivo luciferase-expressing ovalbumin-specific (OT-I/Luc) T cells were monitored with bioluminescence imaging. Cells were profiled for surface markers with flow cytometry. RESULTS:In both s.c./s.c. and s.c./i.c. models, 3 injections of Delta-24-RGDOX significantly inhibited the growth of both the virus-injected s.c. tumor and untreated distant s.c. and i.c. tumors, thereby prolonging survival. The surviving mice were protected from rechallenging with the same tumor cells. The virus treatment increased the presence of T cells and the frequency of effector T cells in the virus-injected tumor and mediated the same changes in T cells from peripheral blood, spleen, and brain hemispheres with untreated tumor. Moreover, Delta-24-RGDOX decreased the numbers of exhausted T cells and regulatory T cells in the virus-injected and untreated tumors. Consequently, the virus promoted the in situ expansion of tumor-specific T cells and their migration to tumors expressing the target antigen. CONCLUSIONS:Localized intratumoral injection of Delta-24-RGDOX induces an in situ antovaccination of the treated melanoma, the effect of which changes the immune landscape of the treated mice, resulting in systemic immunity against disseminated s.c. and i.c. tumors.
Project description:Adenovirus (Ad) has been most extensively evaluated gene transfer vector in clinical trials due to facile production in high viral titer, highly efficient transduction, and proven safety record. Similarly, an oncolytic Ad, which replicates selectively in cancer cells through genetic modifications, is actively being evaluated in various phases of clinical trials as a promising next generation therapeutic against cancer. Most of these trials with oncolytic Ads to date have employed intratumoral injection as the standard administration route. Although these locally administered oncolytic Ads have shown promising outcomes, the therapeutic efficacy is not yet optimal due to poor intratumoral virion retention, nonspecific shedding of virion to normal organs, variable infection efficacy due to heterogeneity of tumor cells, adverse antiviral immune response, and short biological activity of oncolytic viruses in situ. These inherent problems associated with locally administered Ad also holds true for other oncolytic viral vectors. Thus, this review will aim to discuss various nanomaterial-based delivery strategies to improve the intratumoral administration efficacy of oncolytic Ad as well as other types of oncolytic viruses.
Project description:Key challenges facing cancer therapy are the development of tumor-specific drugs and potent multimodal regimens. Oncolytic adenoviruses possess the potential to realize both aims by restricting virus replication to tumors and inserting therapeutic genes into the virus genome, respectively. A major effort in this regard is to express transgenes in a tumor-specific manner without affecting virus replication. Using both luciferase as a sensitive reporter and genetic prodrug activation, we show that promoter control of E1A facilitates highly selective expression of transgenes inserted into the late transcription unit. This, however, required multistep optimization of late transgene expression. Transgene insertion via internal ribosome entry site (IRES), splice acceptor (SA), or viral 2A sequences resulted in replication-dependent expression. Unexpectedly, analyses in appropriate substrates and with matching control viruses revealed that IRES and SA, but not 2A, facilitated indirect transgene targeting via tyrosinase promoter control of E1A. Transgene expression via SA was more selective (up to 1,500-fold) but less effective than via IRES. Notably, we also revealed transgene-dependent interference with splicing. Hence, the prodrug convertase FCU1 (a cytosine deaminase-uracil phosphoribosyltransferase fusion protein) was expressed only after optimizing the sequence surrounding the SA site and mutating a cryptic splice site within the transgene. The resulting tyrosinase promoter-regulated and FCU1-encoding adenovirus combined effective oncolysis with targeted prodrug activation therapy of melanoma. Thus, prodrug activation showed potent bystander killing and increased cytotoxicity of the virus up to 10-fold. We conclude that armed oncolytic viruses can be improved substantially by comparing and optimizing strategies for targeted transgene expression, thereby implementing selective and multimodal cancer therapies.
Project description:Gene therapy has become an important strategy for treatment of malignancies, but problems remains concerning the low gene transferring efficiency, poor transgene expression and limited targeting specific tumors, which have greatly hampered the clinical application of tumor gene therapy. Gallbladder cancer is characterized by rapid progress, poor prognosis, and aberrantly high expression of Survivin. In the present study, we used a human tumor-specific Survivin promoter-regulated oncolytic adenovirus vector carrying P53 gene, whose anti-cancer effect has been widely confirmed, to construct a wide spectrum, specific, safe, effective gene-viral therapy system, AdSurp-P53. Examining expression of enhanced green fluorecent protein (EGFP), E1A and the target gene P53 in the oncolytic adenovirus system validated that Survivin promoter-regulated oncolytic adenovirus had high proliferation activity and high P53 expression in Survivin-positive gallbladder cancer cells. Our in vitro cytotoxicity experiment demonstrated that AdSurp-P53 possessed a stronger cytotoxic effect against gallbladder cancer cells and hepatic cancer cells. The survival rate of EH-GB1 cells was lower than 40% after infection of AdSurp-P53 at multiplicity of infection (MOI) = 1 pfu/cell, while the rate was higher than 90% after infection of Ad-P53 at the same MOI, demonstrating that AdSurp-P53 has a potent cytotoxicity against EH-GB1 cells. The tumor growth was greatly inhibited in nude mice bearing EH-GB1 xenografts when the total dose of AdSurp-P53 was 1 × 10(9) pfu, and terminal dUTP nick end-labeling (TUNEL) revealed that the apoptotic rate of cancer cells was (33.4 ± 8.4)%. This oncolytic adenovirus system overcomes the long-standing shortcomings of gene therapy: poor transgene expression and targeting of only specific tumors, with its therapeutic effect better than the traditional Ad-P53 therapy regimen already on market; our system might be used for patients with advanced gallbladder cancer and other cancers, who are not sensitive to chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or who lost their chance for surgical treatment.