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Gene Ther. 2004 Sep;11(18):1399-407.

Highly specific transgene expression mediated by a complex adenovirus vector incorporating a prostate-specific amplification feedback loop.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA.


Development of novel therapeutic agents is needed to address the problems of locally recurrent, metastatic, and advanced hormone-refractory prostate cancer. We have constructed a novel complex adenovirus (Ad) vector regulation system that incorporates both the prostate-specific ARR2PB promoter and a positive feedback loop using the TRE promoter to enhance gene expression. This regulation strategy involves the incorporation of the TRE upstream of the prostate-specific ARR2PB promoter to enhance its activity with Tet regulation. The expressions of both GFP and tTA were placed under the control of these TRE-ARR2PB promoters, so that in the cells of prostate origin a positive feedback loop would be generated. This design greatly enhanced GFP reporter expression in prostate cancer cells, while retaining tight control of expression in nonprostate cancer cells, even at an MOI as high as 1000. This novel positive feedback loop with prostate specificity (PFLPS) regulation system we have developed may have broad applications for expressing not only high levels of toxic proteins in cancer cells, but alternatively could also be manipulated to regulate essential genes in a highly efficient conditionally replicative adenovirus vector specifically directed to prostate cancer cells. The PFLPS regulation system, therefore, serves as a promising new approach in the development of both a specific and effective vector for cancer gene therapy.

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