Combination gene delivery of the cell cycle inhibitor p27 with thymidine kinase enhances prodrug cytotoxicity

Xavier Danthinne, Kazunori Aoki, Akiko L. Kurachi, Gary J. Nabel, Elizabeth G. Nabel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Cytoxicity induced by the herpesvirus thymidine kinase (TK) gene in combination with prodrugs is dependent on cell growth and leads to the elimination of genetically modified cells, thus limiting the duration of expression and efficacy of this treatment in vivo. Here, an effort was made to enhance TK/prodrug efficacy by coexpression of a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor (CKI), p27, to render cells resistant to TK/prodrug by inhibiting DNA synthesis. Expression of p27 by transfection substantially reduced cell cycle progression, and its activity was enhanced by mutations designed to stabilize the protein. Coexpression of p27 and TK or a p27/TK fusion protein led to greater prodrug cytotoxicity than that produced by TK alone in the Renca cell line, which is sensitive to bystander killing. Combination gene transfer of this CKI with TK therefore sustained the synthesis of TK by genetically modified cells to enhance the susceptibility of bystander cells to prodrug cytotoxicity and increased the efficacy of this gene transfer approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9201-9207
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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