11 research outputs found

    Pharmacological Interventions for Improving Adenovirus Usage in Gene Therapy

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    Gene therapy may be an innovative and promising new treatment strategy for cancer but is limited due to a low efficiency and specificity of gene delivery to the target cells. Adenovirus is the preferred gene therapy vector for systemic delivery because of its unparalleled in vivo transduction efficiency. Intravenous administration of low doses of adenovirus results in adenovirus sequestration in the liver due to binding to the scavenger receptor present on Kupffer cells. When the amount of adenovirus surpasses the binding capacity of Kupffer cells, hepatocytes absorb adenovirus particles in a blood factor-dependent manner. Increasing the Ad dose even more will saturate both the Kupffer cells and hepatocytes. Then sinusoid endothelial cells bind adenovirus particles in an RGD motif-dependent manner. Strategies to eradicate the binding to liver cells include drugs to interfere or eliminate binding to specific cell types, adenovirus capsid protein mutations and chemical modifications of adenovirus to shield the capsid proteins from cellular receptors. The combined use of these approaches should ultimately lead to successful systemic application of adenovirus in humans

    Selective targeting of adenovirus to alpha(v)beta(3) integrins, VEGFR2 and Tie2 endothelial receptors by angio-adenobodies

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    Tumor angiogenesis is a prominent mechanism, driving the development and progression of solid tumors and the formation of cancer cell metastasis. Newly formed tumor vessels represent an elective target for the activity and the delivery of cancer therapeutics. We targeted adenovirus (Ad5) to endothelial receptors which are up-regulated during the formation of new blood vessels, to enhance the efficiency of anticancer gene therapy applications. Bifunctional angio-adenobodies were constructed by the fusion of a single chain antibody directed against the adenoviral fiber knob, to different peptides recognizing the alpha(v)beta(3) integrins, VEGFR2 and Tie2 receptors on endothelial cells. The angio-adenobodies were coupled to the adenoviral vector, containing luciferase and GFP as reporter genes. In vitro data showed selective targeting of the Ad5 to the endothelial receptors both in mouse (H5V) and human cell lines (HUVEC). H5V cells, refractory to Ad5 infection, showed high level of luciferase expression when cells were infected with targeted virus. Viral transgene expression increased in HUVEC cells when cells were infected with Ad5 conjugated with angio-adenobody thereby demonstrating the affinity of the peptides for human endothelial cells also. In vivo data obtained from mice bearing a C26 colon carcinoma subcutaneously show viral transgene expression only in tumors infected with angio-adenobodies retargeted adenovirus. The results of the present study demonstrate that endothelial targeted angio-adenobodies represent a versatile tool to direct adenovirus from its native receptors to the integrins a alpha(v)beta(3), VEGFR2 and Tie2 receptors that are fundamental in many angiogenesis related diseases such as cancer. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

    Epicardium-derived cells enhance proliferation, cellular maturation and alignment of cardiomyocytes

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    During heart development, cells from the proepicardial organ spread over the naked heart tube to form the epicardium. From here, epicardium-derived cells (EPDCs) migrate into the myocardium. EPDCs proved to be indispensable for the formation of the ventricular compact zone and myocardial maturation, by largely unknown mechanisms. In this study we investigated in vitro how EPDCs affect cardiomyocyte proliferation, cellular alignment and contraction, as well as the expression and cellular distribution of proteins involved in myocardial maturation. Embryonic quail EPDCs induced proliferation of neonatal mouse cardiomyocytes. This required cell-cell interactions, as proliferation was not observed in transwell cocultures. Western blot analysis showed elevated levels of electrical and mechanical junctions (connexin43, N-cadherin), sarcomeric proteins (Troponin-I, alpha-actinin), extracellular matrix (collagen I and periostin) in cocultures of EPDCs and cardiomyocytes. Immunohistochemistry indicated more membrane-bound expression of Cx43, N-cadherin, the mechanotransduction molecule focal adhesion kinase, and higher expression of the sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) ATPase (SERCA2a). Newly developed software for analysis of directionality in immunofluorescent stainings showed a quantitatively determined enhanced cellular alignment of cardiomyocytes. This was functionally related to increased contraction. The in vitro effects of EPDCs on cardiomyocytes were confirmed in three reciprocal in vivo models for EPDC-depletion (chicken and mice) in which downregulation of myocardial N-cadherin, Cx43, and FAK were observed. In conclusion, direct interaction of EPDCs with cardiomyocytes induced proliferation, correct mechanical and electrical coupling of cardiomyocytes. ECM-deposition and concurrent establishment of cellular array. These findings implicate that EPDCs are ideal candidates as adjuvant cells for cardiomyocyte integration during cardiac (stem) cell therapy. (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

    Polyinosinic acid enhances delivery of adenovirus vectors in vivo by preventing sequestration in liver macrophages

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    Adenovirus is among the preferred vectors for gene therapy because of its superior in vivo gene-transfer efficiency. However, upon systemic administration, adenovirus is preferentially sequestered by the liver, resulting in reduced adenovirus-mediated transgene expression in targeted tissues. In the liver, Kupffer cells are responsible for adenovirus degradation and contribute to the inflammatory response. As scavenger receptors present on Kupffer cells are responsible for the elimination of blood-borne pathogens, we investigated the possible implication of these receptors in the clearance of the adenovirus vector. Polyinosinic acid [poly(I)], a scavenger receptor A ligand, was analysed for its capability to inhibit adenovirus uptake specifically in macrophages. In in vitro studies, the addition of poly(I) before virus infection resulted in a specific inhibition of adenovirus-induced gene expression in a J774 macrophage cell line and in primary Kupffer cells. In in vivo experiments, pre-administration of poly(I) caused a 10-fold transient increase in the number of adenovirus particles circulating in the blood. As a consequence, transgene expression levels measured in different tissues were enhanced (by 5- to 15-fold) compared with those in animals that did not receive poly(I). Finally, necrosis of Kupffer cells, which normally occurs as a consequence of systemic adenovirus administration, was prevented by the use of poly(I). No toxicity, as measured by liver-enzyme levels, was observed after poly(I) treatment. From our data, we conclude that poly(I) can prevent adenovirus sequestration by liver macrophages. These results imply that, by inhibiting adenovirus uptake by Kupffer cells, it is possible to reduce the dose of the viral vector to diminish the liver-toxicity effect and to improve the level of transgene expression in target tissues. In systemic gene-therapy applications, this will have great impact on the development of targeted adenoviral vectors

    Removal of Pex3p Is an Important Initial Stage in Selective Peroxisome Degradation in Hansenula polymorpha

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    Selective degradation of peroxisomes (macropexophagy) in Hansenula polymorpha involves the sequestration of individual organelles to be degraded by membranes prior to the fusion of this compartment with the vacuole and subsequent degradation of the whole organelle by vacuolar hydrolases. Here we show that Pex3p, a peroxisomal membrane protein essential for peroxisome biogenesis, escapes this autophagic process. Upon induction of macropexophagy, Pex3p is removed from the organelle tagged for degradation prior to its sequestration. Our data indicate that Pex3p degradation is essential to allow the initiation of the organellar degradation process. Also, in a specific peroxisome degradation-deficient (pdd) mutant in which sequestration still occurs but the vacuolar fusion event is disturbed, the turnover of Pex3p is still observed. Taken together, our data suggest that degradation of Pex3p is part of the initial degradation machinery of individual peroxisomes.

    Glucose-induced and nitrogen-starvation-induced peroxisome degradation are distinct processes in Hansenula polymorpha that involve both common and unique genes

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    In the methylotrophic yeast Hansenula polymorpha non-selective autophagy, induced by nitrogen starvation, results in the turnover of cytoplasmic components, including peroxisomes. We show that the uptake of these components occurs by invagination of the vacuolar membrane without their prior sequestration and thus differs from the mechanism described for bakers yeast. A selective mode of autophagy in H. polymorpha, namely glucose-induced peroxisome degradation, involves sequestration of individual peroxisomes tagged for degradation by membrane layers that subsequently fuse with the vacuole where the organelle is digested. H. polymorpha pdd mutants are blocked in selective peroxisome degradation. We observed that pdd1-201 is also impaired in non-selective autophagy, whereas this process still normally functions in pdd2-4. These findings suggest that mechanistically distinct processes as selective and non-selective autophagy involve common but also unique genes.

    Peroxisome Biogenesis and Selective Degradation Converge at Pex14p

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    We have analyzed the function of Hansenula polymorpha Pex14p in selective peroxisome degradation. Previously, we showed that Pex14p was involved in peroxisome biogenesis and functions in peroxisome matrix protein import. Evidence for the additional function of HpPex14p in selective peroxisome degradation (pexophagy) came from cells defective in HpPex14p synthesis. The suggestion that the absence of HpPex14p interfered with pexophagy was further analyzed by mutational analysis. These studies indicated that deletions at the C terminus of up to 124 amino acids of HpPex14p did not affect peroxisome degradation. Conversely, short deletions of the N terminus (31 and 64 amino acids, respectively) of the protein fully impaired pexophagy. Peroxisomes present in these cells remained intact for at least 6 h of incubation in the presence of excess glucose, conditions that led to the rapid turnover of the organelles in wild-type control cells. We conclude that the N terminus of HpPex14p contains essential information to control pexophagy in H. polymorpha and thus, that organelle development and turnover converge at Pex14p.
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