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J Clin Invest. 2004 Apr;113(7):1017-24.

Transcription-controlled gene therapy against tumor angiogenesis.

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Institute of Lipid and Atherosclerosis Research, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel.


A major drawback of current approaches to antiangiogenic gene therapy is the lack of tissue-specific targeting. The aim of this work was to trigger endothelial cell-specific apoptosis, using adenoviral vector-mediated delivery of a chimeric death receptor derived from the modified endothelium-specific pre-proendothelin-1 (PPE-1) promoter. In the present study, we constructed an adenovirus-based vector that targets tumor angiogenesis. Transcriptional control was achieved by use of a modified endothelium-specific promoter. Expression of a chimeric death receptor, composed of Fas and TNF receptor 1, resulted in specific apoptosis of endothelial cells in vitro and sensitization of cells to the proapoptotic effect of TNF-alpha. The antitumoral activity of the vectors was assayed in two mouse models. In the model of B16 melanoma, a single systemic injection of virus to the tail vein caused growth retardation of tumor and reduction of tumor mass with central tumor necrosis. When the Lewis lung carcinoma lung-metastasis model was applied, i.v. injection of vector resulted in reduction of lung-metastasis mass, via an antiangiogenic mechanism. Moreover, by application of the PPE-1-based transcriptional control, a humoral immune response against the transgene was avoided. Collectively, these data provide evidence that transcriptionally controlled, angiogenesis-targeted gene therapy is feasible.

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