|Adenovirus-mediated Drosophila melanogaster deoxyribonucleoside kinase mutants combined with gemcitabine harbor a safe cancer treatment profile|
Authors: Zhi Zhu, Shuai Ma, Lei Zhao, Zhe Sun, Anning He, Huimian Xu, Xinyu Zheng
Affiliations: Department of Surgical Oncology, Department of General Surgery, First Affiliated Hospital, China Medical University, Shenyang, P.R. China, Department of Surgical Oncology, Department of General Surgery, First Affiliated Hospital, China Medical University, Shenyang 11001, P.R. China
Published online on: Friday, December 24, 2010
The purpose of this analysis was to investigate the enzyme activity and specificity of adenovirus-mediated Drosophila melanogaster deoxyribonucleoside kinase (Dm-dNK) mutants in combination with gemcitabine. Compared to herpes simplex type 1 thymidine kinases (HSV-TK) and other known dNKs, this Dm-dNK enzyme has a broader substrate specificity and a higher catalytic rate. We created the Dm-dNK mutants (dNKmut) by site-directed mutagenesis at the sites of 244E, 245S, 251S, and 252R, with the last 10 amino acids in the amino acid sequence randomly alternated. We subsequently evaluated the enzyme activity and substrate specificity. The engineered enzymes showed a relative increase in phosphorylation in the nucleoside analogs of gemcitabine (dFdC, 2',2'-difluoro-deoxycytidine) compared to the wild-type enzyme. The dNKmut enzymes were expressed in breast (Bcap37) and gastric (SGC-7901) cancer cell lines. In studying the sensitivity of the cell lines to dFdC, conditionally replicative adenovirus (CRAd) ZD55-dNKmut showed higher expression and enzymatic activity than the replication-defective adenovirus Ad-dNKmut in cancer cells, but with less cytotoxicity to cancer cells than that of Ad-dNKmut. Our data suggest that the triple phosphorylated dFdC catalyzed by dNKmut inhibited the replication of adenovirus with a simultaneous positive therapeutic effect on cancer cells. Therefore, concomitant use of the ZD55-dNKmut and dFdC could be a novel targeted strategy in suicide gene therapy with safe control of excessive virus replication.