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Novel system uses probasin-based promoter, transcriptional silencers and amplification loop to induce high-level prostate expression

Author(s): Woraratanadharm Jan | Rubinchik Semyon | Yu Hong | Dong John

Journal: BMC Biotechnology
ISSN 1472-6750

Volume: 7;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 9;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Abstract Background Despite several effective treatment options available for prostate cancer, it remains the second leading cause of cancer death in American men. Thus, there is a great need for new treatments to improve outcomes. One such strategy is to eliminate cancer through the expression of cytotoxic genes specifically in prostate cells by gene therapy vectored delivery. To prevent systemic toxicity, tissue- and/or cancer-specific gene expression is required. However, the use of tissue- or cancer-specific promoters to target transgene expression has been hampered by their weak activity. Results To address this issue, we have developed a regulation strategy that includes feedback amplification of gene expression along with a differentially suppressible tetracycline regulated expression system (DiSTRES). By differentially suppressing expression of the tetracycline-regulated transcriptional activator (tTA) and silencer (tTS) genes based on the cell origin, this leads to the activation and silencing of the TRE promoter, respectively. In vitro transduction of LNCaP cells with Ad/GFPDiSTRES lead to GFP expression levels that were over 30-fold higher than Ad/CMV-GFP. Furthermore, Ad/FasL-GFPDiSTRES demonstrated cytotoxic effects in prostate cancer cells known to be resistant to Fas-mediated apoptosis. Conclusion Prostate-specific regulation from the DiSTRES system, therefore, serves as a promising new regulation strategy for future applications in the field of cancer gene therapy and gene therapy as a whole.
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