Spontaneous and controllable activation of suicide gene expression driven by the stress-inducible Grp78 promoter resulting in eradication of sizable human tumors
ABSTRACT GRP78 is a stress-inducible chaperone protein with antiapoptotic properties that is overexpressed in transformed cells and cells under glucose starvation, acidosis, and hypoxic conditions that persist in poorly vascularized tumors. Previously we demonstrated that the Grp78 promoter is able to eradicate tumors using murine cells in immunocompetent models by driving expression of the HSV-tk suicide gene. Here, through the use of positron emission tomography (PET) imaging, we provide direct evidence of spontaneous in vivo activation of the HSV-tk suicide gene driven by the Grp78 promoter in growing tumors and its activation by photodynamic therapy (PDT) in a controlled manner. In this report, we evaluated whether this promoter can be applied to human cancer therapy. We observed that the Grp78 promoter, in the context of a retroviral vector, was highly activated by stress and PDT in three different types of human breast carcinomas independent of estrogen receptor and p53. Complete regression of sizable human tumors was observed after prodrug ganciclovir treatment of the xenografts in immunodeficient mice. In addition, the Grp78 promoter-driven suicide gene is strongly expressed in a variety of human tumors, including human osteosarcoma. In contrast, the activity of the murine leukemia virus (MuLV) long-terminal repeat (LTR) promoter varied greatly in different human breast carcinoma cell lines, and in some cases, stress resulted in partial suppression of the LTR promoter activity. In transgenic mouse models, the Grp78 promoter-driven transgene is largely quiescent in major adult organs but highly active in cancer cells and cancer-associated macrophages, which can diffuse to tumor necrotic sites devoid of vascular supply and facilitate cell-based therapy. Thus, transcriptional control through the use of the Grp78 promoter offers multiple novel approaches for human cancer gene therapy.
- SourceAvailable from: Marie Cohen
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- "Its expression also varies with developmental stages and tissue specificity. A low basal level is identified in most adult tissues whereas it is highly induced in cancer  . GRP78 expression is induced under such conditions as hypoxia and nutrient deprivation, partially explaining its high level in tumour cells . "
ABSTRACT: Glucose-regulated protein of 78 kD (GRP78) is a chaperone protein mainly located in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). This protein is normally present at low levels in adult cells but its expression is triggered by ER stress including glucose deprivation and hypoxia. In tumor cells, it is overexpressed with fraction of protein found at the cell surface. This paper presents the physiology of GRP78 in the context of ovarian cancer and its potential use as drug delivery systems targeting ovarian cancer cell.Journal of Oncology 03/2012; 2012:468615. DOI:10.1155/2012/468615
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- "The first direct evidence for the involvement of GRP78 in cancer progression came from the demonstration that GRP78 knockdown in fibrosarcoma cells using antisense prevented tumor formation in nude mice . It was further shown that a suicide transgene driven by the GRP78 promoter in breast cancer cells completely blocked tumor growth in mice . More recently, it was demonstrated that GRP78 heterozygous mice develop normally but are resistant to transgene-induced mammary tumor growth . "
ABSTRACT: Cripto is a small, GPI-anchored signaling protein that regulates cellular survival, proliferation, differentiation and migration during normal developmental processes and tumorigenesis. Cripto functions as an obligatory co-receptor for the TGF-β ligands Nodal, GDF1 and GDF3 but attenuates signaling of others such as activin-A, activin-B and TGF-β1. Soluble, secreted forms of Cripto also activate Src, ras/raf/MAPK and PI3K/Akt pathways via a mechanism that remains largely obscure. This review describes the biological roles and signaling mechanisms of Cripto, highlighting our identification of the 78 kDa glucose regulated protein (GRP78) as a cell surface receptor/co-factor required for Cripto signaling via both TGF-β and Src/MAPK/PI3K pathways. We discuss emerging evidence indicating that Cripto/GRP78 signaling regulates normal somatic stem cells and their tumorigenic counterparts.FEBS letters 02/2012; 586(14):1836-45. DOI:10.1016/j.febslet.2012.01.051 · 3.34 Impact Factor
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- "The D2/LacZ transgenic mouse lines (D2D, D2P and D2L) were generated by the same procedure as previously described (Dong et al. 2004). Itpr1 heterozygous mutant mice opt/+ were purchased from Jackson Laboratory, in the B6C3Fe genetic background. "
ABSTRACT: The inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors (IP3Rs) as ligand-gated Ca(2)(+) channels are key modulators of cellular processes. Despite advances in understanding their critical role in regulating neuronal function and cell death, how this family of proteins impact cell metabolism is just emerging. Unexpectedly, a transgenic mouse line (D2D) exhibited progressive glucose intolerance as a result of transgene insertion. Inverse PCR was used to identify the gene disruption in the D2D mice. This led to the discovery that Itpr1 is among the ten loci disrupted in chromosome 6. Itpr1 encodes for IP3R1, the most abundant IP3R isoform in mouse brain and also highly expressed in pancreatic β-cells. To study IP3R1 function in glucose metabolism, we used the Itpr1 heterozygous mutant mice, opt/+. Glucose homeostasis in male mice cohorts was examined by multiple approaches of metabolic phenotyping. Under regular diet, the opt/+ mice developed glucose intolerance but no insulin resistance. Decrease in second-phase glucose-stimulated blood insulin level was observed in opt/+ mice, accompanied by reduced β-cell mass and insulin content. Strikingly, when fed with high-fat diet, the opt/+ mice were more susceptible to the development of hyperglycemia, glucose intolerance, and insulin resistance. Collectively, our studies identify the gene Itpr1 being interrupted in the D2D mice and uncover a novel role of IP3R1 in regulation of in vivo glucose homeostasis and development of diet-induced diabetes.Journal of Endocrinology 05/2011; 210(2):209-17. DOI:10.1530/JOE-11-0012 · 3.59 Impact Factor