Novel Semi-Replicative Retroviral Vector Mediated Double Suicide Gene Transfer Enhances Antitumor Effects in Patient-Derived Glioblastoma Models.
ABSTRACT: As glioblastomas are mostly localized infiltrative lesions, gene therapy based on the retroviral replicating vector (RRV) system is considered an attractive strategy. Combinations of multiple suicide genes can circumvent the limitations associated with each gene, achieving direct and synergistic cytotoxic effects, along with bystander cell killing. In this study, we constructed a semi-and pseudotyped-RRV (sp-RRV) system harboring two suicide genes-herpes simplex virus type 1 thymidine kinase (TK) and yeast cytosine deaminase (CD)-to verify the dissemination and antitumor efficacy of our sp-RRV system (spRRVe-sEF1?-TK/sRRVgp-sEF1?-CD) in seven patient-derived glioblastoma stem-like cells (GSCs). Flow cytometry and high-content analysis revealed a wide range of transduction efficiency and good correlation between the delivery of therapeutic genes and susceptibility to the prodrugs ganciclovir and 5-fluorocytosine in patient-derived GSCs in vitro. Intra-tumoral delivery of spRRVe-sEF1?-TK/sRRVgp-sEF1?-CD, combined with prodrug treatment, synergistically inhibited cell proliferation and angiogenesis while increasing apoptosis and the depletion of tumor-associated macrophages in orthotopic glioblastoma xenografts. Genomic profiling of patient-derived GSCs revealed that the key genes preventing sp-RRV infection and transmission were associated with cell adhesion, migration, development, differentiation, and proliferation. This is the first report demonstrating that a novel sp-RRV-mediated TK/CD double suicide gene transfer system has high oncolytic power against extremely heterogeneous and treatment-refractory glioblastomas.
Project description:Glioblastoma is the most malignant tumor of the central nervous system and still lacks effective treatment. This study explores mutational biomarkers of 11 drugs targeting either the RTK/Ras/PI3K, the p53 or the Rb pathway using 25 patient-derived glioblastoma stem-like cell cultures (GSCs).We found that TP53 mutated GSCs were approximately 3.5 fold more sensitive to dual inhibition of mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 and 2 (mTORC1/2) compared to wild type GSCs. We identified that Bcl-2(Thr56/Ser70) phosphorylation contributed to the resistance of TP53 wild type GSCs against dual mTORC1/2 inhibition. The Bcl-2 inhibitor ABT-263 (navitoclax) increased sensitivity to the mTORC1/2 inhibitor AZD8055 in TP53 wild type GSCs, while sensitivity to AZD8055 in TP53 mutated GSCs remained unchanged.Our data suggest that Bcl-2 confers resistance to mTORC1/2 inhibitors in TP53 wild type GSCs and that combined inhibition of both mTORC1/2 and Bcl-2 is worthwhile to explore further in TP53 wild type glioblastomas, whereas in TP53 mutated glioblastomas dual mTORC1/2 inhibitors should be explored.
Project description:Glioblastoma is a highly aggressive malignant tumor involving glial cells in the human brain. We used high-throughput sequencing to comprehensively profile the small RNAs expressed in glioblastoma and non-tumor brain tissues. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) made up the large majority of small RNAs, and we identified over 400 different cellular pre-miRNAs. No known viral miRNAs were detected in any of the samples analyzed. Cluster analysis revealed several miRNAs that were significantly down-regulated in glioblastomas, including miR-128, miR-124, miR-7, miR-139, miR-95, and miR-873. Post-transcriptional editing was observed for several miRNAs, including the miR-376 family, miR-411, miR-381, and miR-379. Using the deep sequencing information, we designed a lentiviral vector expressing a cell suicide gene, the herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase (HSV-TK) gene, under the regulation of a miRNA, miR-128, that was found to be enriched in non-tumor brain tissue yet down-regulated in glioblastomas, Glioblastoma cells transduced with this vector were selectively killed when cultured in the presence of ganciclovir. Using an in vitro model to recapitulate expression of brain-enriched miRNAs, we demonstrated that neuronally differentiated SH-SY5Y cells transduced with the miRNA-regulated HSV-TK vector are protected from killing by expression of endogenous miR-128. Together, these results provide an in-depth analysis of miRNA dysregulation in glioblastoma and demonstrate the potential utility of these data in the design of miRNA-regulated therapies for the treatment of brain cancers.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Free flap-mediated gene therapy in the tumor bed following surgical resection is a promising approach in cancer targeted treatment of residual disease. We investigated the selective killing efficacy of a lentivirus-mediated cytosine deaminase-thymidine kinase (CDglyTK) gene in transplanted breast cancer delivered into a free flap by intra-artery perfusion. METHODS:Proliferation, apoptosis, and cell cycle of rat SHZ-88 breast cancer cells transfected with a lentivirus-mediated CD/TK gene were measured following treatment with ganciclovir and 5-flucytosine in vitro. A model of residual disease of breast cancer in a rat superficial inferior epigastric artery (SIEA) flap model was used to study the therapeutic potential of a double suicide CD/TK and prodrug system in vivo. RESULTS:Killing efficacy of the double suicide CD/TK and prodrug system on SHZ-88 cells was mediated by increased apoptosis and cell cycle arrest at the G1 phase with significant bystander effect. Following recombinant lentivirus transfection of rat SIEA flap by intra-artery perfusion, CD/TK gene expression was limited to the flap, and the volume and weight of transplanted tumors were significantly reduced without observable toxicity. CONCLUSIONS:SIEA flaps transfected with a lentivirus-mediated CDglyTK gene by intra-artery perfusion effectively suppress transplanted breast tumor growth without obvious systemic toxic effects in rats.
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:Glioblastomas have been proposed to be maintained by highly tumorigenic glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs) that are resistant to current therapy. Therefore, targeting GSCs is critical for developing effective therapies for glioblastoma. In this study, we identify the regulatory cascade of the nuclear receptor TLX and the DNA hydroxylase Ten eleven translocation 3 (TET3) as a target for human GSCs. We show that knockdown of TLX expression inhibits human GSC tumorigenicity in mice. Treatment of human GSC-grafted mice with viral vector-delivered TLX shRNA or nanovector-delivered TLX siRNA inhibits tumour development and prolongs survival. Moreover, we identify TET3 as a potent tumour suppressor downstream of TLX to regulate the growth and self-renewal in GSCs. This study identifies the TLX-TET3 axis as a potential therapeutic target for glioblastoma.
Project description:Glioblastoma is the most prevalent primary brain tumor and is essentially universally fatal within 2 years of diagnosis. Glioblastomas contain cellular hierarchies with self-renewing glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs) that are often resistant to chemotherapy and radiation therapy. GSCs express high amounts of repressor element 1 silencing transcription factor (REST), which may contribute to their resistance to standard therapies. Telomere repeat-binding factor 2 (TRF2) stablizes telomeres and REST to maintain self-renewal of neural stem cells and tumor cells. Here we show viral vector-mediated delivery of shRNAs targeting TRF2 mRNA depletes TRF2 and REST from GSCs isolated from patient specimens. As a result, GSC proliferation is reduced and the level of proteins normally expressed by postmitotic neurons (L1CAM and ?3-tubulin) is increased, suggesting that loss of TRF2 engages a cell differentiation program in the GSCs. Depletion of TRF2 also sensitizes GSCs to temozolomide, a DNA-alkylating agent currently used to treat glioblastoma. Targeting TRF2 significantly increased the survival of mice bearing GSC xenografts. These findings reveal a role for TRF2 in the maintenance of REST-associated proliferation and chemotherapy resistance of GSCs, suggesting that TRF2 is a potential therapeutic target for glioblastoma.
Project description:Glioblastoma is a primary brain tumor associated with a poor prognosis due to its high chemoresistance capacity. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are one of the mechanisms of chemoresistance. Although therapy targeting CSCs is promising, strategies targeting CSCs remain unsuccessful. Abnormal activation of epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFRs) due to amplification, mutation, or both of the EGFR gene is common in glioblastomas. However, glioblastomas are resistant to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs), and overcoming resistance is essential. Brexpiprazole is a new, safe serotonin-dopamine activity modulator used for schizophrenia and depression that was recently reported to have anti-CSC activity and function as a chemosensitizer. Here, we examined its chemosensitization effects on osimertinib, a third-generation EGFR-TKI with an excellent safety profile, in glioma stem cells (GSCs), which are CSCs of glioblastoma. Brexpiprazole treatment sensitized GSCs to osimertinib and reduced the expression of survivin, an antiapoptotic factor, and the pharmacological and genetic inhibition of survivin mimicked the effects of brexpiprazole. Moreover, co-treatment of brexpiprazole and osimertinib suppressed tumor growth more efficiently than either drug alone without notable toxicity in vivo. This suggests that the combination of brexpiprazole and osimertinib is a potential therapeutic strategy for glioblastoma by chemosensitizing GSCs through the downregulation of survivin expression.
Project description:Individual or combined strategies of cellular therapy with alloreactive CTLs (alloCTL) and gene therapy using retroviral replicating vectors (RRV) encoding a suicide prodrug activating gene were explored for the treatment of breast tumors metastatic to the brain.AlloCTL, sensitized to the HLA of MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells, were examined in vitro for antitumor functionality toward breast cancer targets. RRV encoding the yeast cytosine deaminase (CD) gene was tested in vivo for virus spread, ability to infect, and kill breast cancer targets when exposed to 5-fluorocytosine (5-FC). Individual and combination treatments were tested in subcutaneous and intracranial xenograft models with 231BR, a brain tropic variant.AlloCTL preparations were cytotoxic, proliferated, and produced IFN-? when coincubated with target cells displaying relevant HLA. In vivo, intratumorally placed alloCTL trafficked through one established intracranial 231BR focus to another in contralateral brain and induced tumor cell apoptosis. RRV-CD efficiently spread in vivo, infected 231BR and induced their apoptosis upon 5-FC exposure. Subcutaneous tumor volumes were significantly reduced in alloCTL and/or gene therapy-treated groups compared to control groups. Mice with established intracranial 231BR tumors treated with combined alloCTL and RRV-CD had a median survival of 97.5 days compared with single modalities (50-83 days); all experimental treatment groups survived significantly longer than sham-treated groups (median survivals 31.5 or 40 days) and exhibited good safety/toxicity profiles.The results indicate combining cellular and suicide gene therapies is a viable strategy for the treatment of established breast tumors in the brain.
Project description:Malignant glioblastoma (GBM) is a highly aggressive brain tumor with a dismal prognosis and limited therapeutic options. Genomic profiling of GBM samples has identified four molecular subtypes (Proneural, Neural, Classical and Mesenchymal), which may arise from different glioblastoma stem-like cell (GSC) populations. We previously showed that adherent cultures of GSCs grown on laminin-coated plates (Ad-GSCs) and spheroid cultures of GSCs (Sp-GSCs) had high expression of stem cell markers (CD133, Sox2 and Nestin), but low expression of differentiation markers (?III-tubulin and glial fibrillary acid protein). In the present study, we characterized GBM tumors produced by subcutaneous and intracranial injection of Ad-GSCs and Sp-GSCs isolated from a patient-derived xenoline. Although they formed tumors with identical histological features, gene expression analysis revealed that xenografts of Sp-GSCs had a Classical molecular subtype similar to that of bulk tumor cells. In contrast xenografts of Ad-GSCs expressed a Mesenchymal gene signature. Adherent GSC-derived xenografts had high STAT3 and ANGPTL4 expression, and enrichment for stem cell markers, transcriptional networks and pro-angiogenic markers characteristic of the Mesenchymal subtype. Examination of clinical samples from GBM patients showed that STAT3 expression was directly correlated with ANGPTL4 expression, and that increased expression of these genes correlated with poor patient survival and performance. A pharmacological STAT3 inhibitor abrogated STAT3 binding to the ANGPTL4 promoter and exhibited anticancer activity in vivo. Therefore, Ad-GSCs and Sp-GSCs produced histologically identical tumors with different gene expression patterns, and a STAT3/ANGPTL4 pathway is identified in glioblastoma that may serve as a target for therapeutic intervention.
Project description:Glioblastomas display cellular hierarchies containing tumor-propagating glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs). STAT3 is a critical signaling node in GSC maintenance but molecular mechanisms underlying STAT3 activation in GSCs are poorly defined. Here we demonstrate that the bone marrow X-linked (BMX) nonreceptor tyrosine kinase activates STAT3 signaling to maintain self-renewal and tumorigenic potential of GSCs. BMX is differentially expressed in GSCs relative to nonstem cancer cells and neural progenitors. BMX knockdown potently inhibited STAT3 activation, expression of GSC transcription factors, and growth of GSC-derived intracranial tumors. Constitutively active STAT3 rescued the effects of BMX downregulation, supporting that BMX signals through STAT3 in GSCs. These data demonstrate that BMX represents a GSC therapeutic target and reinforces the importance of STAT3 signaling in stem-like cancer phenotypes.