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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Oct 25;102(43):15611-6. Epub 2005 Oct 13.

WWOX gene restoration prevents lung cancer growth in vitro and in vivo.

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Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology, and Medical Genetics, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Ohio State University, 410 West 12th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43201, USA.


The WWOX (WW domain containing oxidoreductase) gene at the common fragile site, FRA16D, is altered in many types of cancer, including lung cancer. We have examined the tumor suppressor function of WWOX in preclinical lung cancer models. The WWOX gene was expressed in lung cancer cell lines through recombinant adenovirus (Ad) infection (Ad-WWOX), and through a drug [ponasterone A, (ponA)]-inducible system. After WWOX restoration in vitro, endogenous Wwox protein-negative cell lines (A549, H460, and H1299) underwent apoptosis through activation of the intrinsic apoptotic caspase cascade in A549 and H460 cells. Ectopic expression of Wwox caused dramatic suppression of tumorigenicity of A549, H460, and H1299 cells in nude mice after Ad-WWOX infection and after ponA induction of Wwox expression in H1299 lung cancer cells. Tumorigenicity and in vitro growth of U2020 (Wwox-positive) lung cancer cells was unaffected by Wwox overexpression. This study confirms that WWOX is a tumor suppressor gene and is highly effective in preventing growth of lung cancer xenografts, whether introduced through viral infection or by induction of a silent WWOX transgene.

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