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J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2000 Mar;19(1):75-80.

Enzyme/prodrug gene therapy for human colon cancer cells using adenovirus-mediated transfer of the Escherichia coli cytosine deaminase gene driven by a CAG promoter associated with 5-fluorocytosine administration.

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First Dept. of Surgery, Nara Medical University, Kashihara-city, Japan.


Escherichia coli cytosine deaminase (CD), which is a prokaryotic enzyme, converts nontoxic prodrug 5-fluorocytosine (5-FC) into the toxic chemotherapeutic agent 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). To investigate an enzyme/prodrug gene therapy for colorectal cancer, using adenoviral gene transfer of the E. coli CD gene associated with administration of 5-FC, we constructed replication-defective adenovirus vectors expressing the E. coli CD gene or lacZ gene driven by a CAG promoter (composed of a cytomegalovirus immediate early enhancer and a chicken beta-actin promotor). The present study demonstrated that an adenoviral gene transfer system using a CAG promoter induced sufficient gene expression of CD to confer the cytotoxicity of 5-FC to HT29 human colon cancer cells by converting it into 5-FU even at an moi of one. Furthermore, experimental gene therapy using intratumoral injection of the CD-expressing adenovirus with systemical administration of 5'-FC successfully suppressed the growth of established HT29 subcutaneous tumors in nude mice. These results suggest that enzyme/prodrug gene therapy using the adenoviral gene transfer of the E. coli CD gene with concomitant administration of 5-FC may be an effective strategy in the local control of colorectal cancer.

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