Purpose: Control of therapeutic gene expression in tumours is a major goal of gene therapy research, as it can restrict cytotoxic gene expression in cancer cells. In addition, the combination of hyperthermia with gene therapy through the application of heat-inducible vectors can result in considerable improvements in therapeutic efficiency. In this study, to combine heat-inducibility with high-level transgene expression, we developed a heat-inducible transgene expression system with transcriptional amplification mediated by a tetracycline-responsive transactivator. Materials and methods: A hybrid promoter was generated by placing the heat shock protein (HSP) 70B′ promoter under the tetracycline-repressor responsive element sequence, and a reporter/therapeutic gene expression plasmid was constructed by placing a reporter/therapeutic gene under the control of this hybrid promoter. Results: When the transactivator expression plasmid harbouring an expression cassette of the tetracycline-responsive transactivator gene was co-transfected with a reporter gene expression plasmid, the reporter gene expression was controlled by heat treatment. With this system, high levels of heat-induced transgene expression were observed compared to that from the HSP promoter alone without the transactivator. Evaluation of in vitro therapeutic effects using cancer cell lines revealed that therapeutic gene expression effectively caused cell death in a greater percentage of the cells. Conclusion: These findings indicate that this strategy improves the efficacy of cancer gene therapy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physiology (medical)
- Cancer Research