Herpes simplex virus amplicon delivery of a hypoxia-inducible soluble vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (sFlk-1) inhibits angiogenesis and tumor growth in pancreatic adenocarcinoma

Maura Reinblatt, Richard H. Pin, William J. Bowers, Howard J. Federoff, Yuman Fong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Tumor hypoxia induces vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression, which stimulates angiogenesis and tumor proliferation. The VEGF signaling pathway is inhibited by soluble VEGF receptors (soluble fetal liver kinase 1; sFlk-1), which bind VEGF and block its interaction with endothelial cells. Herpes simplex virus (HSV) amplicons are replication-incompetent viruses used for gene delivery. We attempted to attenuate angiogenesis and inhibit pancreatic tumor growth through HSV amplicon-mediated expression of sFlk-1 under hypoxic control. Methods: A multimerized hypoxia-responsive enhancer (10 x HRE) was cloned upstream of the sFlk-1 gene (10 x HRE/sFlk-1). A novel HSV amplicon expressing 10 x HRE/sFlk-1 was genetically engineered (HSV10 x HRE/sFlk-1).Human pancreatic adenocarcinoma cells (AsPC1) were transduced with HSV10 x HRE/sFlk-1 and incubated in normoxia (21% oxygen) or hypoxia (1% oxygen). Capillary inhibition was evaluated by human umbilical vein endothelial cell assay. Western blot assessed sFlk-1 expression. AsPC1 flank tumor xenografts (n = 24) were transduced with HSV10 x HRE/sFlk-1. Results: Media from normoxic AsPC1 transduced with HSV10 x HRE/sFlk-1 yielded a 36% reduction in capillary formation versus controls (P < .05), whereas hypoxic AsPC1 yielded a 76% reduction (P < .005). Western blot of AsPC1 transduced with HSV10 x HRE/sFlk-1 demonstrated greater sFlk-1 expression in hypoxia versus normoxia. AsPC1 flank tumors treated with HSV10 x HRE/sFlk-1 exhibited a 59% reduction in volume versus controls (P < .000001). Conclusions: HSV amplicon delivery of a hypoxia-inducible soluble VEGF receptor significantly reduces new vessel formation and tumor growth. Tumor hypoxia can thus be used to direct antiangiogenic therapy to pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1025-1036
Number of pages12
JournalAnnals of surgical oncology
Volume12
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2005

Keywords

  • Amplicon
  • Flk-1
  • Herpes simplex virus
  • Hypoxia
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Vascular endothelial growth factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology

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