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Local delivery of recombinant adenovirus expressing hepatitis B virus X protein and interleukin-12 results in antitumor effects via inhibition of hepatoma cell growth and intervention of tumor microenvironment

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Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a typical hypervascular tumor. Our previous studies have demonstrated that hepatitis B virus X protein (HBx) was able to inhibit the growth of HCC cells via inducing apoptosis and inhibiting tumor angiogenesis. Interleukin-12 (IL-12) is a disulfide-linked heterodimeric cytokine with potent immunostimulatory activity and anti-angiogenic properties. In this study, to further investigate the regulatory effect of IL-12 on HBx-mediated intervention of hepatoma microenvironment especially on intervention of neovessels and immune microenvironment, we constructed the recombinant adenovirus expressing HBx and mouse IL-12 named Ad-HBx-mIL-12. HBx-mIL-12 could effectively suppress tumor growth and induce apoptosis in vivo. Moreover, treatment with Ad-HBx-mIL-12 not only induced a massive accumulation of immune cells (CD8+ T leukocytes, macrophages and dendritic cells) in tumors in situ, also apparently reduced the number of angiogenic blood vessels within tumor tissues. These results suggest that HBx-mIL-12 can not only induce cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in HCC cells, but also effectively shift the tumor microenvironment from pro-oncogenic to antitumor through recruitment of immune cells and inhibiting stromal cell growth, such as vascular endothelial cells.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy and Cancer Center, West China Hospital, West China Medical School, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, P.R. China 2: School of Life Science, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, P.R. China

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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  • The International Journal of Molecular Medicine is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the publication of high quality studies related to the molecular mechanisms of human disease. The journal welcomes research on all aspects of molecular and clinical research, ranging from biochemistry to immunology, pathology, genetics, human genomics, microbiology, molecular pathogenesis, molecular cardiology, molecular surgery and molecular psychology.

    The International Journal of Molecular Medicine aims to provide an insight for researchers within the community in regard to developing molecular tools and identifying molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of a diverse number of human diseases.
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