Targeted cancer gene therapy using a hypoxia inducible factor-dependent oncolytic adenovirus armed with interleukin-4

Dawn E. Post*, Eric M. Sandberg, Michele M. Kyle, Narra Sarojini Devi, Daniel J. Brat, Zhiheng Xu, Mourad Tighiouart, Erwin G. Van Meir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations

Abstract

There is a need for novel therapies targeting hypoxic cells in tumors. These cells are associated with tumor resistance to therapy and express hypoxia inducible factor-1 (HIF-1),a transcription factor that mediates metabolic adaptation to hypoxia and activates tumor angiogenesis. We previously developed an oncolytic adenovirus (HYPR-Ad) for the specific killing of hypoxic/HIF-active tumor cells, which we now armed with an interleukin-4 gene (HYPR-Ad-IL4). We designed HYPR-Ad-IL4 by cloning the Ad E1A viral replication and IL-4 genes under the regulation of a bidirectional hypoxia/HIF-responsive promoter. The IL-4 cytokine was chosen for its ability to induce a strong host antitumor immune response and its potential antiangiogenic activity. HYPR-Ad-IL4 induced hypoxia-dependent IL-4 expression,viral replication, and conditional cytolysis of hypoxic, but not normoxic cells. The treatment of established human tumor xenografts with HYPR-Ad-IL4 resulted in rapid and maintained tumor regression with the same potency as that of wild-type dl309-Ad. HYPR-Ad-IL4-treated tumors displayed extensive necrosis, fibrosis, and widespread viral replication. Additionally, these tumors contained a distinctive leukocyte infiltrate and prominent hypoxia. The use of an oncolytic Ad that locally delivers IL-4 to tumors is novel,and we expect that HYPR-Ad-IL4 will have broad therapeutic use for all solid tumors that have hypoxia or active HIF, regardless of tissue origin or genetic alterations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6872-6881
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Research
Volume67
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 15 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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