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01.12.2014 | PRECLINICAL STUDIES | Ausgabe 6/2014

Investigational New Drugs 6/2014

Improved replication efficiency of echovirus 5 after transfection of colon cancer cells using an authentic 5’ RNA genome end methodology

Investigational New Drugs > Ausgabe 6/2014
S. Israelsson, A. Sävneby, J-O. Ekström, N. Jonsson, K. Edman, A. M. Lindberg


Oncolytic virotherapy is a promising novel form of cancer treatment, but the therapeutic efficiency needs improvement. A potential strategy to enhance the therapeutic effect of oncolytic viruses is to use infectious nucleic acid as therapeutic agent to initiate an oncolytic infection, without administrating infectious viral particles. Here we demonstrate improved viral replication activation efficiency when transfecting cells with 5’ end authentic in vitro transcribed enterovirus RNA as compared to genomic RNA with additional non-genomic 5’ nucleotides generated by conventional cloning methods. We used echovirus 5 (E5) as an oncolytoc model virus due to its ability to replicate in and completely destroy five out of six colon cancer cell lines and kill artificial colon cancer tumors (HT29 spheroids), as shown here. An E5 infectious cDNA clone including a hammerhead ribozyme sequence was used to generate in vitro transcripts with native 5’ genome ends. In HT29 cells, activation of virus replication is approximately 20-fold more efficient for virus genome transcripts with native 5’ genome ends compared to E5 transcripts generated from a standard cDNA clone. This replication advantage remains when viral progeny release starts by cellular lysis 22 h post transfection. Hence, a native 5’ genomic end improves infection activation efficacy of infectious nucleic acid, potentially enhancing its therapeutic effect when used for cancer treatment. The clone design with a hammerhead ribozyme is likely to be applicable to a variety of oncolytic positive sense RNA viruses for the purpose of improving the efficacy of oncolytic virotherapy.

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