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Int J Oncol. 2010 Apr;36(4):809-16.

Radiation-inducible silencing of uPA and uPAR in vitro and in vivo in meningioma.

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Department of Cancer Biology and Pharmacology, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, Peoria, IL 61605, USA.


Stereospecific radiation treatment offers a distinct opportunity for temporal and spatial regulation of gene expression at tumor sites by means of inducible promoters. To this end, a plasmid, pCArG-U2, was constructed by incorporating nine CArG elements (in tandem) of EGR1 gene upstream to uPA and uPAR siRNA oligonucleotides in a pCi-neo vector. Radiation-induced siRNA expression was detected in a meningioma cell line (IOMM-Lee). Immunoblotting and RT-PCR analyses confirmed downregulation of uPA and uPAR. A similar effect was observed in transfected cells followed by H2O2 treatment. Moreover, pre-treatment of transfected cells with N-acetyl L-cysteine blocked the silencing of uPA and uPAR, which further confirmed the oxidative damage-mediated downregulation. Cell proliferation assays and Western blot analysis for apoptotic molecules confirmed cell death in a radiation-inducible fashion. Migration and matrigel invasion assays also revealed a marked decrease in migration and invasion. Immunocytochemistry showed a marked decrease in uPA and uPAR levels in transfected and irradiated cells. H&E staining revealed a decrease in the pre-established tumor volume among the animals treated with pCArG-U2 and radiation. Immunohistochemistry of the brain sections established with intracranial tumors also revealed a marked decrease in uPA and uPAR in a radiation-inducible fashion. Taken together, our data suggest pCArG-U2 as a suitable candidate for radiation-inducible gene therapy.

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