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Latest Articles on Gene Therapy

Overview of latest articles and publications on gene therapy in PubMed, including Human Gene Therapy, Journal of Molecular Medicine and Journal of Gene Medicine. PubMed is a service of the US National Library of Medicine that includes over 18 million citations from MEDLINE and other life science journals.


  • Polymorphisms in MicroRNA Target Sites of Forkhead Box O Genes Are Associated with Hepatocellular Carcinoma.
    Tan C, Liu S, Tan S, et al. Polymorphisms in MicroRNA Target Sites of Forkhead Box O Genes Are Associated with Hepatocellular Carcinoma. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]PLoS One 2015; 10(3):e0119210.The forkhead box O (FOXO) transcription factors play important roles in various cancer development including Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). In this study we conducted a hospital-based case control study including 1049 cases (HCC patients) and 1052 controls (non-tumor patients) to examine whether single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within microRNA (miRNA) target sites of FOXO genes confer HCC susceptibility. A total of three miRNA target site SNPs in the 3' untranslated regions (UTR) of FOXO1 (rs17592236), FOXO3 (rs4946936) and FOXO4 (rs4503258) were analyzed. No statistically significant differences were found in genotype distribution for rs17592236, rs4946936, and rs4503258 between the HCC patient group and the tumor-free control group using single factor chi-square analysis (P>0.05). However, multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that the CT/TT genotype in rs17592236 was significantly associated with decreased risk of HCC development (P = 0.010, OR = 0.699, 95% CI: 0.526-0.927) as compared to the CC genotype in rs17592236. Additionally, a genetic interaction was found between rs17592236 and rs4503258 (P = 0.003, OR = 0.755, 95% CI: 0.628-0.908). Functional dual luciferase reporter assays verified that the rs17592236 SNP was a target site of human miRNA miR-137. Together, these results indicate that the rs17592236 polymorphism is associated with decreasing of HCC hereditary susceptibility likely through modulating the binding affinity of miR-137 to the 3'UTR in FOXO1 messenger RNA (mRNA). Further knowledge obtained from this study may provide important evidence for the prevention and targeted therapy of HCC.

  • Knockdown of UbcH10 Enhances the Chemosensitivity of Dual Drug Resistant Breast Cancer Cells to Epirubicin and Docetaxel.
    Wang C, Pan YH, Shan M, et al. Knockdown of UbcH10 Enhances the Chemosensitivity of Dual Drug Resistant Breast Cancer Cells to Epirubicin and Docetaxel. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]Int J Mol Sci 2015; 16(3):4698-4712.Breast cancer is one of the most common and lethal cancers in women. As a hub gene involved in a diversity of tumors, the ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme H10 (UbcH10), may also play some roles in the genesis and development of breast cancer. In the current study, we found that the expression of UbcH10 was up-regulated in some breast cancer tissues and five cell lines. We established a dual drug resistant cell line MCF-7/EPB (epirubicin)/TXT (docetaxel) and a lentiviral system expressing UbcH10 shRNA to investigate the effects of UbcH10 knockdown on the chemosensitivity of MCF-7/EPB/TXT cells to epirubicin and docetaxel. The knockdown of UbcH10 inhibited the proliferation of both MCF-7 and MCF-7/EPB/TXT cells, due to the G1 phase arrest in cell cycle. Furthermore, UbcH10 knockdown increased the sensitivity of MCF-7/EPB/TXT cells to epirubicin and docetaxel and promoted the apoptosis induced by these two drugs. Protein detection showed that, in addition to inhibiting the expression of Ki67 and cyclin D1, UbcH10 RNAi also impaired the increased BCL-2 and MDR-1 expression levels in MCF-7/EPB/TXT cells, which may contribute to abating the drug resistance in the breast cancer cells. Our research in the current study demonstrated that up-regulation of UbcH10 was involved in breast cancer and its knockdown can inhibit the growth of cancer cells and increase the chemosensitivity of the dual drug resistant breast cancer cells to epirubicin and docetaxel, suggesting that UbcH10 may be a promising target for the therapy of breast cancer.

  • The Anti-TNF-α Antibody Infliximab Inhibits the Expression of Fat-Transporter-Protein FAT/CD36 in a Selective Hepatic-Radiation Mouse Model.
    Martius G, Cameron S, Rave-Fränk M, et al. The Anti-TNF-α Antibody Infliximab Inhibits the Expression of Fat-Transporter-Protein FAT/CD36 in a Selective Hepatic-Radiation Mouse Model. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]Int J Mol Sci 2015; 16(3):4682-4697.Previously, we reported a radiation-induced inflammation triggering fat-accumulation through fatty-acid-translocase/cluster of differentiation protein 36 (FAT/CD36) in rat liver. Furthermore, inhibition of radiation-induced FAT/CD36-expression by anti-tumor necrosis factor-α (anti-TNF-α) (infliximab) was shown in vitro. The current study investigates fat-accumulation in a mouse-model of single-dose liver-irradiation (25-Gray) and the effect of anti-TNF-α-therapy on FAT/CD36 gene-expression. Mice livers were selectively irradiated in vivo in presence or absence of infliximab. Serum- and hepatic-triglycerides, mRNA, and protein were analyzed by colorimetric assays, RT-PCR, Immunofluorescence and Western-Blot, respectively. Sudan-staining was used demonstrating fat-accumulation in tissue. In mice livers, early (1-3 h) induction of TNF-α-expression, a pro-inflammatory cytokine, was observed. It was followed by elevated hepatic-triglyceride level (6-12 h), compared to sham-irradiated controls. In contrast, serum-triglyceride level was decreased at these time points. Similar to triglyceride level in mice livers, Sudan staining of liver cryosections showed a quick (6-12 h) increase of fat-droplets after irradiation. Furthermore, expression of fat-transporter-protein FAT/CD36 was increased at protein level caused by radiation or TNF-α. TNF-α-blockage by anti-TNF-α showed an early inhibition of radiation-induced FAT/CD36 expression in mice livers. Immunohistochemistry showed basolateral and cytoplasmic expression of FAT/CD36 in hepatocytes. Moreover, co-localization of FAT/CD36 was detected with α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA+) cells and F4/80+ macrophages. In summary, hepatic-radiation triggers fat-accumulation in mice livers, involving acute-phase-processes. Accordingly, anti-TNF-α-therapy prevented early radiation-induced expression of FAT/CD36 in vivo.

  • Comparison of hIGF-1 Gene Transfection to the hBMSCs and Human Meniscal Fibrochondrocytes.
    Zhang H, Leng P, He T, et al. Comparison of hIGF-1 Gene Transfection to the hBMSCs and Human Meniscal Fibrochondrocytes. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]Med Sci Monit 2015.:681-688.Background Treatment strategies for meniscal injury are shifting from meniscectomy to repair, especially cell-based therapy. Delivering selected genes to donor cells can modify differentiation and proliferation. Efficiency of gene transfection and expression may relate to cell type. Material and Methods Full-length hIGF-1 cDNA was cloned into eukaryotic expression vector by PCR. Human BMSCs and meniscal fibrochondrocytes were isolated and cultured in vitro and hIGF-1 gene was transfected by FuGene 6. Expression of EGFP and hIGF-1 were determined. Biological activity of the hIGF-1 in medium was assessed by MTT chromatometry. Real-time quantitative PCR and Western blot were used to assess the expression of exogenous genes. Efficacy of gene transfection was detected by immunohistochemistry staining and flow cytometry. Results Sequences of hIGF-1 were verified by sequence analysis. Expression of EGFP increased gradually and reached peak intensity 48 h after transfection. Transfection efficiency of BMSCs was higher than meniscal fibrochondrocytes. The population doubling time was decreased in both cell types. Peak concentration of hIGF-1 in the medium of BMSCs and meniscal cells was 32.5±4.8 ng/ml and 24.5±4.6 ng/ml, respectively. Secreted hIGF-1 possessed the ability to enhance proliferation of the cell line. Results of qPCR and Western blot confirmed the expression of hIGF-1. Type II collagen appeared within the cells, and percentage of cells in S stage was increased in both cell types after transfection. Conclusions hIGF-1 cDNA can be transfected into BMSCs and meniscal fibrochondrocytes, resulting in gene expression. Expression efficiency in BMSCs was higher than that in fibrochondrocytes.

  • Apigenin and Breast Cancers: from Chemistry to Medicine.
    Nabavi SM, Habtemariam S, Daglia M, et al. Apigenin and Breast Cancers: from Chemistry to Medicine. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]Anticancer Agents Med Chem 2015 Mar 4.Breast cancer is one of the most common causes of the death among women worldwide. Metabolic disorders, alcohol consumption, hormone replacement therapy, genetic susceptibility, not having children are well known breast cancer risk factors. Surgical resection, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy are limited treatment options for breast cancer. Thus, there is growing need to find new chemopreventive agents that may be effective in prevention or management of breast cancer. Natural products such as flavonoids provide a variety of anticancer compounds which can be useful for prevention or treatment of breast cancer. The usefulness of dietary phytochemicals in prevention of breast cancers is supported by a plethora of experimental and epidemiological studies. Apigenin, a well-known flavone, is found in several dietary plant foods, such as parsley, celery, thyme, celeriac, chamomile, onions, lemon balm, and oranges. Extensive studies have shown that apigenin have potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticarcinogenic properties. The aim of the present work is to review the available data obtained from in vitro and in vivo studies on the promising role of apigenin against breast cancer. We also review molecular mechanisms underlying the anticancer effects, natural sources, bioavailability, as well as the chemistry of apigenin.

  • Ginsenoside Rg3 sensitizes human non‑small cell lung cancer cells to γ-radiation by targeting the nuclear factor-κB pathway.
    Wang L, Li X, Song YM, et al. Ginsenoside Rg3 sensitizes human non‑small cell lung cancer cells to γ-radiation by targeting the nuclear factor-κB pathway. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]Mol Med Rep 2015 Feb 27.At present, it is elusive how non‑small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) develops resistance to γ‑radiation; however, the transcription factor nuclear factor‑κB (NF‑κB) and NF‑κB‑regulated gene products have been proposed as mediators. Ginsenoside Rg3 is a steroidal saponin, which was isolated from Panax ginseng. Ginsenoside Rg3 possesses high pharmacological activity and has previously been shown to suppress NF‑κB activation in various types of tumor cell. Therefore, the present study aimed to determine whether Rg3 could suppress NF‑κB activation in NSCLC cells and sensitize NSCLC to γ‑radiation, using an NSCLC cell line and NSCLC xenograft. A clone formation assay and lung tumor xenograft experiment were used to assess the radiosensitizing effects of ginsenoside Rg3. NF‑κB/inhibitor of NF‑κB (IκB) modulation was ascertained using an electrophoretic mobility shift assay and western blot analysis. NF‑κB‑regulated gene products were monitored by western blot analysis. The present study demonstrated that ginsenoside Rg3 was able to sensitize A549 and H1299 lung carcinoma cells to γ‑radiation and significantly enhance the efficacy of radiation therapy in C57BL/6 mice bearing a Lewis lung carcinoma cell xenograft tumor. Furthermore, ginsenoside Rg3 suppressed NF‑κB activation, phosphorylation of IκB protein and expression of NF‑κB‑regulated gene products (cyclin D1, c‑myc, B‑cell lymphoma 2, cyclooxygenase‑2, matrix metalloproteinase‑9 and vascular endothelial growth factor), a number of which were induced by radiation therapy and mediate radioresistance. In conclusion, the results of the present study suggested that ginsenoside Rg3 may potentiate the antitumor effects of radiation therapy in NSCLC by suppressing NF‑κB activity and NF‑κB‑regulated gene products, leading to the inhibition of tumor progression.

  • Effects of RNA interference-mediated NRP-1 silencing on the proliferation and apoptosis of breast cancer cells.
    Han Z, Jiang G, Zhang Y, et al. Effects of RNA interference-mediated NRP-1 silencing on the proliferation and apoptosis of breast cancer cells. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]Mol Med Rep 2015 Mar 3.Lentiviral expression vectors carrying human NRP-1 short hairpin RNA (shRNA) were constructed and selected to present highly efficient NRP-1/shRNA interference sequences, in order to investigate the effects of RNA interference (RNAi)‑mediated NRP-1 silencing on the biological activities of breast cancer cells. Three pairs of human NRP-1 targeted specific interference sequences and one pair of non‑specific control sequences were designed, synthesized and subcloned into pLB lentiviral vectors, which were further identified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequencing. Recombinant and lentiviral packaging plasmids were co-transfected into 293FT cell lines in order to produce lentiviral particles and to infect breast cancer cells with high NRP-1 expression. Flow cytometry was used to sort green fluorescent protein-positive cells. Fluorescence quantitative-reverse transcription-PCR and western blot analysis were employed to identify the interference silencing sequence with the most efficient silencing profile. A cell counting kit-8 assay and an Annexin V-propidium iodide method in combination with flow cytometry were used to examine the effects of RNA interference-mediated NRP-1 gene silencing on cell proliferation, apoptosis and sensitivity to chemotherapy. The recombinant lentiviral plasmid pLB-NRP-1/shRNA was constructed successfully, as confirmed by PCR and sequencing. After the infection of recombinant lentiviral plasmids, the expression profiles of NRP-1 mRNA, and proteins of MCF-7 and SK-BR-3 cell-specific interference group (pLB-NRP-1/shRNA3) were significantly lower than that of the control group (P<0.05). Compared with the control group, the MCF-7 and SK-BR-3 cell-specific interference group (pLB‑NRP-1/shRNA3) showed lower optical density values and higher apoptotic rates at 48, 72 and 96 h; these differences were statistically significant (P<0.05). EPI administration resulted in increased apoptosis in the MCF-7 and SK-BR-3 cell-specific interference groups compared with the control group (P<0.05). Lentiviral vectors encoding the human NRP-1 gene were constructed successfully and highly efficient NRP-1/shRNA interference sequences were selected. Furthermore, RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated NRP-1 silencing may induce proliferation suppression, apoptosis promotion, as well as enhanced sensitivity to chemotherapeutic agents.

  • Association of VEGFR-2 Gene Polymorphisms With Clopidogrel Resistance in Patients With Coronary Heart Disease.
    Zhang LJ, Zhang YQ, Han X, et al. Association of VEGFR-2 Gene Polymorphisms With Clopidogrel Resistance in Patients With Coronary Heart Disease. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]Am J Ther 2015 Mar 3.Vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR-2) plays a central role in atherogenesis. We investigated the correlation between VEGFR-2 polymorphisms and the risk of clopidogrel resistance (CR) in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD). The study involved 275 patients with CHD undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention and on antiplatelet clopidogrel therapy. The participants were divided into CR group (n = 59) and non-CR group (NCR, n = 216) based on maximum platelet aggregation measurements. VEGFR-2 gene polymorphisms, +1192C>T (rs2305948), +1416T>A (rs1870377), and -271A>G (rs7667298), were genotyped using polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to measure serum transforming growth factor, beta receptor 2 levels. CR was found in 59 patients (20.45%). A significantly higher proportion of patients in the CR group had a history of diabetes mellitus compared with the NCR group (P < 0.05). Genotype and allele frequency of VEGFR-2 +1192C>T (rs2305948) was significantly higher in the CR group than in the NCR group (all P < 0.01). In the VEGFR-2 +1192C>T (rs2305948), the angina pectoris, recurrent myocardial infarction, and combined end point events were significantly more prevalent in the TT carriers than in the CC + CT carriers. In VEGFR-2 -271A>G (rs7667298), the GG carriers had a lower proportion of target lesion revascularization and angina pectoris in contrast to the AA + AG carriers (all P < 0.05). Based on our results, VEGFR-2 +1192C>T (rs2305948) polymorphism is strongly associated with increased CR and main adverse cardiovascular event incidence in patients with CHD undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention. Additionally, patients with CHD with diabetes mellitus history were more likely to develop CR. The associations of +1416T>A (rs1870377) and -271A>G (rs7667298) polymorphisms with CR were inconclusive and will need to be examined further.

  • Intra-placental Gene Therapy with Ad-IGF-1 Corrects Naturally Occurring Rabbit Model of Intrauterine Growth Restriction.
    Keswani SG, Balaji S, Katz AB, et al. Intra-placental Gene Therapy with Ad-IGF-1 Corrects Naturally Occurring Rabbit Model of Intrauterine Growth Restriction. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]Hum Gene Ther 2015 Mar 4.Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) due to placental insufficiency is a leading cause of perinatal complications for which there is no effective prenatal therapy. We have previously demonstrated that intra-placental injection of adenoviral-mediated insulin-like growth factor-1 (Ad-IGF-1) corrects fetal weight in a murine IUGR model induced by mesenteric uterine artery branch ligation. This study investigated the effect of intra-placental Ad-IGF-1 gene therapy in a rabbit model of naturally occurring IUGR (runt) due to placental insufficiency, which is similar to the human IUGR condition with onset in early third trimester, brain sparing and a reduction in liver weight. Laparotomy was performed on New Zealand white rabbits at day 21 of 30 days gestation and litters were divided into 5 groups: Control(1st position)+PBS, Control+Ad-IGF-1, Runt(3rd position)+PBS, Runt+Ad-IGF-1, Runt+Ad-LacZ. The effect of IGF-1 gene therapy on fetal, placental, liver, heart, lung, and musculoskeletal weights of the growth-restricted pups was examined. Protein expression after gene transfer was seen along the maternal/fetal placenta interface (n=12) at 48 hours after gene therapy. There was very minimal gene transfer detected in the pups or maternal organs. At term, compared to the normally grown 1st position control, the runted third position pups demonstrated significantly lower fetal, placental, liver, lung, and musculoskeletal weights. The fetal, liver, and musculoskeletal weights were restored to normal by intra-placental Ad-IGF-1 gene therapy (p<0.01), with no change in the placental weight. Intra-placental gene therapy is a novel strategy for the treatment of IUGR caused by placental insufficiency that takes advantage of an organ that will be discarded at birth. Development of non-viral IGF-1 gene delivery using placenta-specific promoters can potentially minimize toxicity to the mother and fetus and facilitate clinical translation of this novel therapy.

  • Tamoxifen improves cytopathic effect of oncolytic adenovirus in primary glioblastoma cells mediated through autophagy.
    Ulasov IV, Shah N, Kaverina NV, et al. Tamoxifen improves cytopathic effect of oncolytic adenovirus in primary glioblastoma cells mediated through autophagy. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]Oncotarget 2015 Mar 2.Oncolytic gene therapy using viral vectors may provide an attractive therapeutic option for malignant gliomas. These viral vectors are designed in a way to selectively target tumor cells and spare healthy cells. To determine the translational impact, it is imperative to assess the factors that interfere with the anti-glioma effects of the oncolytic adenoviral vectors. In the current study, we evaluated the efficacy of survivin-driven oncolytic adenoviruses pseudotyping with adenoviral fiber knob belonging to the adenoviral serotype 3, 11 and 35 in their ability to kill glioblastoma (GBM) cells selectively without affecting normal cells. Our results indicate that all recombinant vectors used in the study can effectively target GBM in vitro with high specificity, especially the 3 knob-modified vector. Using intracranial U87 and U251 GBM xenograft models we have also demonstrated that treatment with Conditionally Replicative Adenovirus (CRAd-S-5/3) vectors can effectively regress tumor. However, in several patient-derived GBM cell lines, cells exhibited resistance to the CRAd infection as evident from the diminishing effects of autophagy. To improve therapeutic response, tumor cells were pretreated with tamoxifen. Our preliminary data suggest that tamoxifen sensitizes glioblastoma cells towards oncolytic treatment with CRAd-S-5/3, which may prove useful for GBM in future experimental therapy.