Oncology reports

Intratumoral injection of PKR shRNA expressing plasmid inhibits B16-F10 melanoma growth.

PMID 25175769


The RNA-dependent protein kinase (PKR) is a serine/threonine kinase that is involved in the regulation of important cell processes such as apoptosis, signal transduction, cell proliferation and differentiation. However, the role played by PKR in cancer remains controversial. RNA interference (RNAi) has currently become an important technique in understanding gene function. Previously, we showed that PKR shRNA downregulates PKR expression in B16-F10 melanoma cells and reduces the metastatic potential of these tumor cells. In the present study, we examined the effect of the intratumoral injection of PKR shRNA‑expressing plasmid on the growth of B16-F10 melanoma in mice. The results showed that this treatment significantly reduced tumor growth. Thus, these findings suggested that PKR acts as a tumor suppressor, a finding that is consistent with our previous study on the experimental model of metastasis. Moreover, the results suggested that this effect may be mediated by the transcription factor NF-κB. The present study confirmed the hypothesis that the direct administration of RNAi-based therapeutics in the target tumor is a promising approach for overcoming the obstacles of systemic delivery. The results also suggested that the intratumoral injection of PKR shRNA‑expressing vector is a novel therapeutic approach for human solid tumors such as cutaneous melanoma and breast cancer, since PKR is overexpressed in these tumors.