Cancer gene therapy

REIC/Dkk-3 overexpression downregulates P-glycoprotein in multidrug-resistant MCF7/ADR cells and induces apoptosis in breast cancer.

PMID 18654608


The overexpression of reduced expression in immortalized cells (REIC)/Dickkopf-3 (Dkk-3), a tumor suppressor gene, induced apoptosis in human prostatic and testicular cancer cells. The aim of this study is to examine the potential of REIC/Dkk-3 as a therapeutic target against breast cancer. First, the in vitro apoptotic effect of Ad-REIC treatment was investigated in breast cancer cell lines and the adenovirus-mediated overexpression of REIC/Dkk-3 was thus found to lead to apoptotic cell death in a c-Jun-NH(2)-kinase (JNK) phosphorylaion-dependent manner. Moreover, an in vivo apoptotic effect and MCF/Wt tumor growth inhibition were observed in the mouse model after intratumoral Ad-REIC injection. As multidrug resistance (MDR) is a major problem in the chemotherapy of progressive breast cancer, the in vitro effects of Ad-REIC treatment were investigated in terms of the sensitivity of multidrug-resistant MCF7/ADR cells to doxorubicin and of the P-glycoprotein expression. Ad-REIC treatment in MCF7/ADR cells also downregulated P-glycoprotein expresssion through JNK activation, and sensitized its drug resistance against doxorubicin. Therefore, not only apoptosis induction but also the reversal of anticancer drug resistance was achieved using Ad-REIC. We suggest that REIC/Dkk-3 is a novel target for breast cancer treatment and that Ad-REIC might be an attractive agent against drug-resistant cancer in combination with conventional antineoplastic agents.