Adenovirus-mediated TA-p73beta gene transfer increases chemosensitivity of human malignant melanomas.

Department of Vectorology and Experimental Gene Therapy, University of Rostock, Schillingallee 70, Rostock, 18055, Germany.
APOPTOSIS (Impact Factor: 3.95). 03/2006; 11(2):235-43. DOI: 10.1007/s10495-006-3407-0
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Malignant melanoma is the most aggressive form of skin cancer and has proven to be highly resistant to conventional chemotherapy. Intriguingly, the p53 tumor suppressor, a main mediator of chemoresistance in other tumor types, is rarely mutated in melanoma. However, we have previously shown that anti-apoptotic isoforms of p73 (deltaTA-p73), another member of the p53 family, are overexpressed in metastatic melanomas. DeltaTA-p73 can oppose the pro-apoptotic functions of p53 and full length p73, and thus it could contribute to melanoma chemoresistance. In this study, we use an efficient adenoviral-based gene transfer approach to introduce a transcriptionally active form of p73 (TA-p73beta) in melanoma cells, with the objective of overcoming drug resistance. Interestingly, TA-p73beta significantly sensitized 5 out of 7 aggressive melanoma cell lines to the standard therapeutic agents adriamycin and cisplatin. More importantly, TA-p73beta displayed a synergistic effect in vivo allowing adriamycin or cisplatin to block melanoma cell growth in mouse xenograft models (p < 0.05). In summary, our data show that Ad-mediated TA-p73beta gene expression can markedly sensitize a subset of melanoma cell lines to adriamycin and cisplatin in vitro and in vivo, suggesting a new chemosensitization strategy for malignant melanomas.

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