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Gene Ther. 2003 Mar;10(5):434-42.

Nonviral genetic transfer of Fas ligand induced significant growth suppression and apoptotic tumor cell death in prostate cancer in vivo.

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Department of Urology, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan.

Erratum in

  • Gene Ther. 2003 Oct;10(21):1860.


To accomplish efficient nonviral gene therapy against prostate cancer (PC), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-based plasmid vectors containing EBNA1 gene and oriP were employed and combined with a cationic polymer or cationic lipid. When EBV-plasmid/poly-amidoamine dendrimer complex was injected into PC-3-derived tumors established in severe combined immunodeficiency mice, a considerable expression of marker gene was obtained in the tumors, and the expression level was more than eight-fold higher than that achieved by conventional plasmid vector/dendrimer. Since most PC cells express the apoptotic signal molecule Fas (Apo-1/CD95) on their surface, Fas ligand (FasL) gene was transferred into PC cells to kill the tumor cells. In vitro transfection with pGEG.FasL (an EBV-plasmid with the FasL gene) significantly reduced the viability of PC cells, which subsequently underwent apoptosis. Intratumoral injections of pGEG.FasL into PC induced significant growth suppression of the xenograft tumors, in which typical characteristics of apoptosis were demonstrated by TUNEL staining and electron microscopic observations. When pGEG.FasL transfer was accompanied by systemic administrations of cisplatin, the tumors were inhibited even more remarkably, leading to prolonged survival of the animals. FasL gene transfection by means of EBV-based plasmid/cationic macromolecule complexes may provide a practical therapeutic strategy against PC.

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