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Hypoxia reduces adenoviral replication in cancer cells by downregulation of viral protein expression

Abstract

Successful cancer therapy using replicating viral vectors relies on the spread of virus from infected to uninfected cells. To date, there has been limited clinical success in the use of replicating adenoviruses. In animal models, established xenograft tumors are rarely eliminated despite the persistence of high viral titers within the tumor. Hypoxia is a prevalent characteristic of solid tumors, whereas adenovirus naturally infects tissues exposed to ambient oxygen concentrations. Here, we report that hypoxia (1% oxygen) reduces adenoviral replication in H1299 and A549 lung cancer cells, BxPC-3 pancreatic cancer cells, LNCaP prostate cancer cells and HCT116 colon cancer cells. However, hypoxia does not reduce cell viability or restrict S-phase entry. Importantly, the production of E1a and fiber proteins under hypoxic conditions was substantially decreased at 24 and 48 h compared to room air controls. In contrast, Northern analysis showed similar levels of E1a mRNA in room air and hypoxic conditions. In conclusion, a level of hypoxia similar to that found within solid tumors reduces the replication of adenoviral vectors by reduction of viral protein expression without a reduction in mRNA levels. To further improve oncolytic therapy using a replicating adenovirus, it is important to understand the mechanism through which hypoxia and the virus interact to control expression of viral and cellular proteins, and consequently to develop means to overcome decreased viral production in hypoxic conditions.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by NIH-NCI R01CA89086, NIH-NCI R01CA102053, NIH-NCRR grant MO1RR-00096, Stony Wold-Herbert Fund and Goldring Clinical Scholars Fund.

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Pipiya, T., Sauthoff, H., Huang, Y. et al. Hypoxia reduces adenoviral replication in cancer cells by downregulation of viral protein expression. Gene Ther 12, 911–917 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.gt.3302459

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.gt.3302459

Keywords

  • adenovirus
  • hypoxia
  • translation

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