1. College of Life Sciences and Bio-Engineering, Beijing University of Technology, China;
2. Basic Medical College, Jilin University, China;
3. China-Japan Union Hospital, Jilin University, China.
* The first two authors contributed equally to the paper.
Objective. Conditionally replicating adenoviruses (CRAds) have been proven potent oncolytic viruses in previous studies. They selectively replicate in the tumor cells because of incorporated survivin promoter and ultimately lead to their killing with minimal side effects on normal tissue. Chemotherapy with cisplatin is commonly employed for treating tumors, but its cytotoxic effects and development of resistance remained major concerns to be dealt with. The aim of this study was to explore the anticancer potential of survivin regulated CRAd alone or in combination with cisplatin in the A549 lung cancer cell line and cisplatin-resistant lung cancer cell line, A549-DDPR.
Methods. CRAd was genetically engineered in our laboratory by removing its E1B region and adding survivin promoter to control its replication. A549, H292, and H661 lung cancer cell lines were procured from the CAS-China. The anti-tumor effectiveness of combined treatment (cisplatin plus CRAd) was evaluated in vitro through MTS assays and in vivo through mouse model experimentation. RT- PCR was used to assess MDR gene and mRNA expression of coxsackie adenoviral receptor (CAR).
Results. Results of in vitro studies established that A549 lung cancer cells were highly sensitive to cisplatin showing dose-dependent inhibition. The resistant cells of A549-DDPR exhibited very less sensitivity to cisplatin but were infected with CRAd more efficiently as compared to A549. A549-DDPR cells exhibited higher expression of MDR gene and CAR in the RT-PCR analysis. The nearly similar rise in the CAR expression was seen when lung cancer cell lines received cisplatin in combined treatment (cisplatin plus CRAd). Combined anti-cancer therapy (cisplatin plus oncolytic virus) proved more efficient than monotherapy in the killing of cancer cells. Results of in vivo experiments recapitulated nearly similar tumor inhibition activities.
Conclusion. This study highlighted the significant role of survivin in gene therapy as it has the potential to render CRAd more tumor specific. It also establishes that higher CAR expression plays a vital role in the success of adenovirus-based therapies. Furthermore, a careful combination of chemotherapy drugs and oncolytic viruses can culminate in significant therapeutic achievements against cancer.
Keywords: Lung cancer, Resistance, Conditional replication Adenovirus, Chemotherapy, Cisplatin, Survivin, CAR.