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Oncogene. 2012 Jun 21;31(25):3023-38. doi: 10.1038/onc.2011.478. Epub 2011 Oct 17.

Reovirus therapy stimulates endoplasmic reticular stress, NOXA induction, and augments bortezomib-mediated apoptosis in multiple myeloma.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, The Institute for Drug Development, Cancer Therapy and Research Center, The University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX 78229, USA.

Abstract

Oncolytic virotherapy with reovirus has demonstrated anti-cancer activity and minimal toxicity in clinical trials, but the mechanisms underlying these effects have not been fully elucidated. Reolysin, a proprietary formulation of reovirus for cancer therapy, stimulated selective viral replication and apoptosis in multiple myeloma (MM) cells. Reolysin-mediated apoptosis was associated with an induction of endoplasmic reticular (ER) stress-related gene expression, swelling of the endoplasmic reticulum, increases in intracellular calcium levels and a strong induction of the Bcl-2 homology 3 (BH3)-only pro-apoptotic protein NOXA. Knockdown of NOXA expression by short hairpin RNA significantly reduced the pro-apoptotic effects of Reolysin. We next showed that co-administration of Reolysin and bortezomib resulted in the dual accumulation of viral and ubiquitinated proteins, which led to enhanced ER stress, NOXA induction and apoptosis. Importantly, the combination of reovirus infection and proteasomal inhibition significantly decreased tumor burden in a xenograft and syngeneic bone disease model of MM without exhibiting adverse side effects. Our study establishes ER stress stimulation and NOXA induction as novel mediators of reovirus-induced apoptosis. Furthermore, reovirus infection can be used as a promising approach to augment the anti-myeloma activity of bortezomib by promoting additional stress to the endoplasmic reticulum of MM cells.

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