Hypoxia- and radiation-activated Cre/loxP 'molecular switch' vectors for gene therapy of cancer.

Greco, Olga and Joiner, Michael C. and Doleh, A. and Powell, A.D. and Hillman, G.G. and Scott, Simon D. (2006) Hypoxia- and radiation-activated Cre/loxP 'molecular switch' vectors for gene therapy of cancer. Gene Therapy, 13 (3). pp. 206-215. ISSN 0969-7128. (doi:https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.gt.3302640) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

Restricted to Repository staff only
Contact us about this Publication Download (309kB)
Official URL


Although a significant negative prognostic factor, tumor hypoxia can be exploited for gene therapy. To maximize targeting within the tumor mass, we have developed synthetic gene promoters containing hypoxia-responsive elements (HREs) from the erythropoietin (Epo) gene as well as radiation-responsive CArG elements from the early growth response (Egr) 1 gene. Furthermore, to achieve high and sustained expression of the suicide gene herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase (HSVtk), our gene therapy vectors contain an expression amplification system, or 'molecular switch', based on Cre/loxP recombination. In human glioma and breast adenocarcinoma cells exposed to hypoxia and/or radiation, the HRE/CArG promoter rapidly activated Cre recombinase expression leading to selective and sustained HSVtk synthesis. Killing of transfected tumor cells was measured after incubation with the prodrug ganciclovir (GCV; converted by HSVtk into a cytotoxin). In vitro, higher and more selective GCV-mediated toxicity was achieved with the switch vectors, when compared with the same inducible promoters driving HSVtk expression directly. In tumor xenografts implanted in nude mice, the HRE/CArG-switch induced significant growth delay and tumor eradication. In conclusion, hypoxia- and radiation-activated 'molecular switch' vectors represent a promising strategy for both targeted and effective gene therapy of solid tumors.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science
Divisions: Faculties > Sciences > School of Biosciences > Biomedical Research Group
Depositing User: Sue Davies
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2007 17:55 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2017 10:56 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/82 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Scott, Simon D.: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8290-0461
  • Depositors only (login required):