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Cancer Gene Ther. 2000 Jan;7(1):37-44.

Adenoviral transfer of xenogeneic MHC class I gene results in loss of tumorigenicity and inhibition of tumor growth.

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Department of Microbiology, College of Medicine, Saskatoon Cancer Center, University of Saskatchewan, Canada.


The immune system confers protection against a variety of pathogens and contributes to the destruction of neoplastic cells. Foreign major histocompatibility complex (MHC) protein serves as a potent stimulus to the immune system. In this report, a mouse H-2Kb gene was introduced into two poorly immunogenic tumor cell lines, a mouse colonic carcinoma cell line, MCA-26 (H-2Kd), and a rat mammalian carcinoma cell line, LN-4, in an effort to stimulate tumor rejection. Our results showed that the expression of xenogeneic MHC class I antigen completely abolished the LN-4 tumorigenicity in rats, whereas the expression of allogeneic MHC class I antigen only partially reduced the MCA-26 tumorigenicity in mice. Rats with tumor regression of LN-4/H-2Kb developed a T helper type 1-dominant response, whereas rats with LN-4 tumor growth developed a T helper type 2-dominant response. The immunized rats that experienced LN-4/H-2Kb tumor regression further developed protective immunity against a subsequent challenge of LN-4 cells. This protective immunity was mediated by the LN-4 tumor-specific cellular immune response against both the transduced and the parental LN-4 cells. Recombinant adenoviral vectors are highly efficient at in vitro and in vivo gene delivery. The LN4 cells transfected with the recombinant adenovirus AdV-H-2Kb in vitro expressed the cell surface H-2Kb molecule by fluorescence-activated cell sorter analysis. Adenovirus-mediated H-2Kb gene transfer in vivo can further significantly inhibit pre-established LN-4 tumors. Those rats with complete tumor regression further developed protective immunity against the subsequent challenge of a parental LN-4 tumor. Therefore, our study indicates that the adenovirus-mediated transfer of xenogeneic MHC class I gene may be an effective alternative to the current protocol of cancer gene therapy in which the allogeneic MHC class I gene is used.

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