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Cancer Gene Ther. 2005 Aug;12(8):691-8.

Inefficient killing of quiescent human epithelial cells by replicating adenoviruses: potential implications for their use as oncolytic agents.

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Canji Inc., San Diego, California, USA.


Cultured primary human cells have been widely used to assess the selectivity of oncolytic viruses as potential anticancer agents. As culture conditions can potentially have a significant impact on virus replication and ultimately cell killing, we evaluated the effects of dl309, a wild-type adenovirus, and dl01 / 07, a conditionally replicating adenovirus mutant, on quiescent and proliferating primary mammary epithelial cells. When primary cells were induced into quiescence, both viruses exhibited similar attenuated cell killing. However, cell killing by dl309 was superior to dl01 / 07 in proliferating primary cells. Analysis of viral effects at the level of entry, E2F activation, DNA replication, and late gene expression indicated that attenuation of dl309 in quiescent cells correlated with decreased expression of viral late genes such as hexon. In contrast, attenuation of dl01 / 07 in quiescent cells correlated with inefficient induction of E2F activity and inability to undergo efficient DNA replication. In proliferating cells, dl309 replicated efficiently, whereas dl01 / 07 still showed attenuated replication. In summary, our results indicate the intrinsic preference of wild-type adenoviruses for killing proliferating cells, which is an attractive feature for using adenoviruses as oncolytic agents. These results also highlight the need for the use of appropriate growth conditions for primary cells in vitro to distinguish subtle differences in cell killing among various oncolytic viruses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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