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Gene Ther. 2005 Nov;12(21):1573-80.

Tightly-regulated suicide gene expression kills PSA-expressing prostate tumor cells.

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  • 1Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, Wynnewood, PA 19096, USA.


We have previously shown that a dual system for controlling gene expression that relies both on transcriptional regulation and DNA recombination mediated by the site-directed recombinase, Flp, effectively controls the expression of a gene encoding diphtheria toxin (DT-A). In this study, we investigated the use of a chimeric modified enhancer/promoter sequence of the human prostate-specific antigen (PSA) gene to regulate DT-A expression in human prostate cancer cells in culture, in xenografts derived from these cells, and in autochthonous tumors in TRAMP mice. Following adenoviral delivery of DNA encoding PSA promoter-driven Flp recombinase and DT-A, we demonstrate that this transcriptional/DNA recombination control strategy effectively activates DT-A expression in a manner that correlates with the amount of PSA and androgen in cells. Significantly, the size of xenografts was reduced by 50%, and tumor cells in TRAMP mice died following intratumoral injection of DT-A viruses. Direct injection of virally-delivered DT-A into normal mouse prostates resulted in a dramatic reduction in the size of the gland. Our results suggest that the PSA promoter-driven Flp recombinase regulatory system will allow for targeted death of PSA-expressing cells. When combined with newly developed strategies for targeted gene delivery, this approach holds promise as an effective systemically-administered therapy for metastatic prostate cancer.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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