Binding, internalization, and transgene expression of an adenoviral vector retargeted to HER3/4

  • Author / Creator
    MacLeod, Sheena H
  • Adenoviruses (Ads) have been well studied for use in cancer gene therapy. However, low levels of the primary receptor, coxsackie-adenovirus receptor (CAR), in tumor cells has been shown to be a factor in low transgene expression. To increase Ad infection of breast cancer cells we constructed a human Ad5 targeted to HER3/4 receptors by the insertion of the HER3/4 ligand, the HRG EGFlike domain. These growth factor receptors are overexpressed on breast cancer, as well as other cancer cells. Here, we have shown higher transgene expression levels after infection of breast cancer cells expressing high levels of HER3/4 by the modified virus, compared to the wild-type binding virus. Furthermore, we have shown expanded tropism of the modified virus to Chinese hamster ovary cells that are refractory to infection by the wild-type binding virus. Competition with either the HRG EGF-like domain or soluble Ad virus fiber knob supported these results. However, gene transfer to a breast cancer xenograft model was not improved by the addition of the heregulin (HRG) EGF-like domain. We compared binding and internalization of the modified virus to that of the wildtype binding virus. As expected, the wild-type virus bound and was taken up into CAR+ cells within 10 min. The modified virus was similar in CAR+ cell lines. Surprisingly, in CAR- cells, very little binding or internalization of the modified virus was detected within 10 min. When re-assessed under stringent conditions used in binding and internalization assays, there was no detectable reporter gene expression after infection of CAR- cells with either virus. Moreover, fluorescence microscopy demonstrated that longer incubation times increased internalization of the modified virus into CAR- cells, consistent with the original transgene expression assays. Thus, the modified virus internalization into CAR- cells appears to be delayed compared to internalization of the wild-type binding virus. We have shown differences in binding, internalization, and gene expression after modification of Ad to bind to HER3/4, in addition to CAR. Further study and modifications of this vector should result in an effective gene therapy vector for breast or other cancers.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Department of Oncology
  • Specialization
    • Experimental Oncology
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Hitt, Mary (Oncology)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Tikoo, Suresh (Veterinary Microbiology)
    • Hugh, Judith (Oncology)
    • Hendzel, Michael (Oncology)
    • Wang, Zhixiang (Medical Genetics)