BMC cancer

Cytotoxic effects of replication-competent adenoviruses on human esophageal carcinoma are enhanced by forced p53 expression.

PMID 26059686


Improvement of transduction and augmentation of cytotoxicity are crucial for adenoviruses (Ad)-mediated gene therapy for cancer. Down-regulated expression of type 5 Ad (Ad5) receptors on human tumors hampered Ad-mediated transduction. Furthermore, a role of the p53 pathways in cytotoxicity mediated by replication-competent Ad remained uncharacterized. We constructed replication-competent Ad5 of which the E1 region genes were activated by a transcriptional regulatory region of the midkine or the survivin gene, which is expressed preferentially in human tumors. We also prepared replication-competent Ad5 which were regulated by the same region but had a fiber-knob region derived from serotype 35 (AdF35). We examined the cytotoxicity of these Ad and a possible combinatory use of the replication-competent AdF35 and Ad5 expressing the wild-type p53 gene (Ad5/p53) in esophageal carcinoma cells. Expression levels of molecules involved in cell death, anti-tumor effects in vivo and production of viral progenies were also investigated. Replication-competent AdF35 in general achieved greater cytotoxic effects to esophageal carcinoma cells than the corresponding replication-competent Ad5. Infection with the AdF35 induced cleavages of caspases and increased sub-G1 fractions, but did not activate the autophagy pathway. Transduction with Ad5/p53 in combination with the replication-competent AdF35 further enhanced the cytotoxicity in a synergistic manner. We also demonstrated the combinatory effects in an animal model. Transduction with Ad5/p53 however suppressed production of replication-competent AdF35 progenies, but the combination augmented Ad5/p53-mediated p53 expression levels and the downstream pathways. Combination of replication-competent AdF35 and Ad5/p53 achieved synergistic cytotoxicity due to enhanced p53-mediated apoptotic pathways.