mda-7/IL-24: multifunctional cancer-specific apoptosis-inducing cytokine.

Department of Pathology, Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbia University Medical Center, College of Physicians and Surgeons, 630 West 168th Street, New York, NY 10032, United States.
Pharmacology [?] Therapeutics (Impact Factor: 7.79). 10/2006; 111(3):596-628. DOI: 10.1016/j.pharmthera.2005.11.005
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT "Differentiation therapy" provides a unique and potentially effective, less toxic treatment paradigm for cancer. Moreover, combining "differentiation therapy" with molecular approaches presents an unparalleled opportunity to identify and clone genes mediating cancer growth control, differentiation, senescence, and programmed cell death (apoptosis). Subtraction hybridization applied to human melanoma cells induced to terminally differentiate by treatment with fibroblast interferon (IFN-beta) plus mezerein (MEZ) permitted cloning of melanoma differentiation associated (mda) genes. Founded on its novel properties, one particular mda gene, mda-7, now classified as a member of the interleukin (IL)-10 gene family (IL-24) because of conserved structure, chromosomal location, and cytokine-like properties has become the focus of attention of multiple laboratories. When administered by transfection or adenovirus-transduction into a spectrum of tumor cell types, melanoma differentiation associated gene-7/interleukin-24 (mda-7/IL-24) induces apoptosis, whereas no toxicity is apparent in normal cells. mda-7/IL-24 displays potent "bystander antitumor" activity and also has the capacity to enhance radiation lethality, to induce immune-regulatory activities, and to inhibit tumor angiogenesis. Based on these remarkable attributes and effective antitumor therapy in animal models, this cytokine has taken the important step of entering the clinic. In a Phase I clinical trial, intratumoral injections of adenovirus-administered mda-7/IL-24 (Ad.mda-7) was safe, elicited tumor-regulatory and immune-activating processes, and provided clinically significant activity. This review highlights our current understanding of the diverse activities and properties of this novel cytokine, with potential to become a prominent gene therapy for cancer.

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    ABSTRACT: Interleukin-24 (IL-24) is a novel cytokine selectively inhibiting proliferation of cancer cells but with little effect on normal cells. However, IL-24 is difficult to express in Escherichia coli. In this study, we optimised the secondary structure of the translation initiation region using computational approach to obtain non-fusion recombinant IL-24 (nrIL-24). The Gibbs free energy of the region was decreased from -22 to -9.07 kcal mol(-1), potentially promoting a loose secondary structure formation and improving the translation initiation efficiency. As a result, the expression of nrIL-24 was increased to 26 % of the total cellular protein from being barely initially detectable. nrIL-24 showed a concentration-dependent inhibition of A375 cells but had little effect on normal human cells. These results demonstrate that this method in increasing nrIL-24 expression is effective and efficient.
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    ABSTRACT: The melanoma differentiation-associated gene-7 [MDA-7; renamed interleukin (IL)-24] was isolated from human melanoma cells induced to terminally differentiate by treatment with interferon and mezerein. MDA-7/IL-24 functions as a multimodality anticancer agent, possessing proapoptotic, antiangiogenic and immunostimulatory properties. All these attributes make MDA-7/IL-24 an ideal candidate for cancer gene therapy. In the present study, the human MDA-7/IL-24 gene was transfected into the human laryngeal cancer Hep-2 cell line and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) with a replication-incompetent adenovirus vector. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and western blot analysis confirmed that the Ad-hIL-24 was expressed in the two cells. The expression of the antiapoptotic gene, Bcl-2, was significantly decreased and the IL-24 receptor was markedly expressed in Hep-2 cells following infection with Ad-hIL-24, but not in HUVECs. In addition, the expression of the proapoptotic gene, Bax, was induced and the expression of caspase-3 was increased in the Hep-2 cells and HUVECs. Methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium assay indicated that Ad-hIL-24 may induce growth suppression in Hep-2 cells but not in HUVECs. In conclusion, Ad-hIL-24 selectively inhibits proliferation and induces apoptosis in Hep-2 cells. No visible damage was found in HUVECs. Therefore, the results of the current study indicated that Ad-hIL-24 may have a potent suppressive effect on human laryngeal carcinoma cell lines, but is safe for healthy cells.
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