• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of nihpaAbout Author manuscriptsSubmit a manuscriptNIH Public Access; Author Manuscript; Accepted for publication in peer reviewed journal;
Mol Cancer Ther. Author manuscript; available in PMC Nov 1, 2009.
Published in final edited form as:
PMCID: PMC2680208

Gene silencing for epidermal growth factor receptor variant III induces cell-specific cytotoxicity


Epidermal growth factor receptor variant III (EGFRvIII) is a constitutively active mutant form of EGFR that is expressed in 40% to 50% of gliomas and several other malignancies. Here, we describe the therapeutic effects of silencing EGFRvIII on glioma cell lines in vitro and in vivo. A small interfering RNA molecule against EGFRvIII was introduced into EGFRvIII-expressing glioma cells (U87Δ) by electroporation resulting in complete inhibition of expression of EGFRvIII as early as 48 h post-treatment. During EGFRvIII silencing, a decrease in the proliferation and invasiveness of U87Δ cells was accompanied by an increase in apoptosis (P < 0.05). Notably, EGFRvIII silencing inhibited the signal transduction machinery downstream of EGFRvIII as evidenced by decreases in the activated levels of Ras and extracellular signal-regulated kinase. A lentivirus capable of expressing anti-EGFRvIII short hairpin RNA was also able to achieve progressive silencing of EGFRvIII in U87Δ cells in addition to inhibiting cell proliferation, invasiveness, and colony formation in a significant manner (P < 0.05). Silencing EGFRvIII in U87Δ cultures with this virus reduced the expression of factors involved in epithelial-mesenchymal transition including N-cadherin, β-catenin, Snail, Slug, and paxillin but not E-cadherin. The anti-EGFRvIII lentivirus also affected the cell cycle progression of U87Δ cells with a decrease in G1 and increase in S and G2 fractions. In an in vivo model, tumor growth was completely inhibited in severe combined immunodeficient mice (n = 10) injected s.c. with U87Δ cells treated with the anti-EGFRvIII lentivirus (P = 0.005). We conclude that gene specific silencing of EGFRvIII is a promising strategy for treating cancers that contain this mutated receptor.

PubReader format: click here to try


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...