Molecular therapy : the journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy

Role of cysteine-rich 61 protein (CCN1) in macrophage-mediated oncolytic herpes simplex virus clearance.

PMID 24895995


Glioblastoma is a devastating disease, and there is an urgent need to develop novel therapies, such as oncolytic HSV1 (OV) to effectively target tumor cells. OV therapy depends on tumor-specific replication leading to destruction of neoplastic tissues. Host responses that curtail virus replication limit its efficacy in vivo. We have previously shown that cysteine-rich 61 protein (CCN1) activates a type 1 IFN antiviral defense response in glioblastoma cells. Incorporating TCGA data, we found CCN1 expression to be a negative prognostic factor for glioblastoma patients. Based on this, we used neutralizing antibodies against CCN1 to investigate its effect on OV therapy. Use of an anti-CCN1 antibody in mice bearing glioblastomas treated with OV led to enhanced virus expression along with reduced immune cell infiltration. OV-induced CCN1 increases macrophage migration toward infected glioblastoma cells by directly binding macrophages and also by enhancing the proinflammatory activation of macrophages inducing MCP-1 expression in glioblastoma cells. Activation of macrophages by CCN1 also increases viral clearance. Neutralization of integrin αMβ2 reversed CCN1-induced macrophage activation and migration, and reduced MCP-1 expression by glioblastoma cells. Our findings reveal that CCN1 plays a novel role in pathogen clearance; increasing macrophage infiltration and activation resulting in increased virus clearance in tumors.