Novel amplifier expression vectors producing higher levels of IL-2 led to slower tumor growth and longer survival in vivo

Phoebe Luo, T. C. Tsang, X. He, V. Gonzalez-Pena, M. Jaramillo, C. Takeuchi, D. T. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Sufficient levels of gene expression are required for effective gene therapy. One of the major obstacles in gene therapy is the low transgene expression obtained from currently available vector systems. To address this issue, we employed a transcriptional amplifier strategy in a single construct to enhance transgene expression. In the amplifier vectors (pHi-1 and pHi-2), the strong CMV promoter was used to drive a transcriptional factor, Tat, which could transactivate a second promoter (HIV1 LTR or HIV2 LTR) located in the same construct driving the gene of interest. Using the human interleukin-2 (IL-2) cytokine gene, our data showed that the pHi-1/2 amplifier vectors could produce significantly higher IL-2 levels in human lung cancer cells (A549) and breast cancer cells (MCF-7) than that obtained by directly using the CMV promoter alone. Injection of pHi-2-IL-2-modified Lewis Lung (LL/2) tumor clones led to significantly slower tumor growth and longer survival in mice compared to those injected with either CMV promoter driven IL-2 clones or the parental tumor cells. Our results demonstrated that the transcriptional amplifier-based expression cassettes could be very useful in applications where high levels of gene expression are difficult to achieve.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)595-604
Number of pages10
JournalDNA and Cell Biology
Volume24
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology

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