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Lentivirus-mediated expression of Drosophila melanogaster deoxyribonucleoside kinase driven by the hTERT promoter combined with gemcitabine: A potential strategy for cancer therapy

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In contrast to other enzymes, Drosophila melanogaster deoxyribonucleoside kinase (Dm-dNK) has a broad substrate specificity and high catalytic rate when transferred in human cells. This makes it a promising therapeutic agent when administered together with several cytotoxic nucleoside analogs, such as gemcitabine 2',2'-difluoro-deoxycytidine (dFdC). Therefore, lentiviral vectors, which potentially allow stable long-term transgene expression, are good candidates for gene delivery vehicles. In the present study, we successfully developed a lentivirus-mediated transgene expression system of Dm-dNK under the control of hTERT promoter against the breast cancer cell line (Bcap37), the gastric cancer cell line (SGC7901) and the normal fibroblast cell line (WI-38). Moreover, we also analyzed its targeted cytotoxicity in vitro with treatment of the prodrug dFdC. Bcap37 tumor growth was inhibited in nude mice. Both cancer cell lines exhibited apparent cytotoxicity when infected with recombinant lentivirus constructs expressing Dm-dNK. In contrast, lentivirus-infected WI-38 cells exhibited less cytotoxicity. These data suggested that Dm-dNK was sensitive to dFdC, and it resulted in synergistic growth inhibition and apoptosis induction in vitro. In addition, Lenti-hTERT-dNK/dFdC also suppressed tumor growth in vivo. Our results suggest that the Lenti-hTERT-dNK/dFdC system is a safe and feasible treatment strategy in the development of suicide gene therapy.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Surgical Oncology and Department of General Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital, China Medical University, Shenyang, P.R. China 2: Center of Experimental Technology and Medical Research, China Medical University, Shenyang, 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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