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J Drug Target. 2013 Nov;21(9):830-6. doi: 10.3109/1061186X.2013.829073. Epub 2013 Aug 19.

Post-translational regulation of gene expression using the ATF4 oxygen-dependent degradation domain for hypoxia-specific gene therapy.

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  • 1Department of Bioengineering, College of Engineering, Hanyang University , Seoul , Korea and.

Abstract

Solid tumors have hypoxic regions in their cores, due to low blood supply levels. Therefore, hypoxia-specific gene regulation systems have been developed for tumor-specific gene therapy. In this study, the oxygen-dependent degradation (ODD) domain on activating transcription factor-4 (ATF4) was evaluated for post-translational regulation of proteins. The ATF4 ODD cDNA was amplified by RT-PCR, and a luciferase plasmid containing the ATF4 ODD domain, pSV-Luc-ATF4-ODD, was constructed. Luciferase expression was induced under hypoxia by the ATF4 ODD domain in transfection assays into N2A neuroblastoma cells, C6 glioblastoma cells, and U87 glioblastoma cells. In the transfection assay with pSV-Luc-ATF4-ODD, RT-PCR results showed that the mRNA level did not change under hypoxia. This suggests that the induction of luciferase under hypoxia was mediated by post-translational regulation. A plasmid expressing thymidine kinase from herpes simplex virus (HSV-tk), pSV-HSVtk-ATF4-ODD, was constructed with the ATF4 ODD cDNA. The transfection assay with pSV-TK-ATF4-ODD showed that the ATF4 ODD domain induced HSV-tk expression under hypoxia and facilitated the death of C6 cells in the presence of ganciclovir (GCV). Furthermore, pSV-HSVtk-ATF4-ODD induced caspase-3 activity in the hypoxic cells. In conclusion, the ATF4 ODD may be useful for hypoxia-specific gene therapy by post-translational regulation of gene expression.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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