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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Oncolytic targeting of androgen-sensitive prostate tumor by the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV): consequences of deficient interferon-dependent antiviral defense

Ibtissam Echchgadda2, Te-Hung Chang1, Ahmed Sabbah1, Imad Bakri2, Yuji Ikeno34, Gene B Hubbard3, Bandana Chatterjee24* and Santanu Bose1*

Author affiliations

1 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, MC-7758, San Antonio, TX 78229, USA

2 Department of Molecular Medicine/Institute of Biotechnology, the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 15355 Lambda Drive, San Antonio, TX 78245, USA

3 Department of Pathology, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229, USA

4 South Texas Veterans Health Care System, 400 Merton Minter, San Antonio, Texas 78229, USA

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Citation and License

BMC Cancer 2011, 11:43  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-11-43

Published: 28 January 2011

Abstract

Background

Oncolytic virotherapy for cancer treatment utilizes viruses for selective infection and death of cancer cells without any adverse effect on normal cells. We previously reported that the human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a novel oncolytic virus against androgen-independent PC-3 human prostate cancer cells. The present study extends the result to androgen-dependent prostate cancer, and explores the underlying mechanism that triggers RSV-induced oncolysis of prostate cancer cells.

Methods

The oncolytic effect of RSV on androgen-sensitive LNCaP human prostate cancer cells and on androgen-independent RM1 murine prostate cancer cells was studied in vitro in culture and in vivo in a xenograft or allograft tumor model. In vitro, cell viability, infectivity and apoptosis were monitored by MTT assay, viral plaque assay and annexin V staining, respectively. In vivo studies involved virus administration to prostate tumors grown in immune compromised nude mice and in syngeneic immune competent C57BL/6J mice. Anti-tumorogenic oncolytic activity was monitored by measuring tumor volume, imaging bioluminescent tumors in live animals and performing histopathological analysis and TUNEL assay with tumors

Results

We show that RSV imposes a potent oncolytic effect on LNCaP prostate cancer cells. RSV infectivity was markedly higher in LNCaP cells compared to the non-tumorigenic RWPE-1 human prostate cells. The enhanced viral burden led to LNCaP cell apoptosis and growth inhibition of LNCaP xenograft tumors in nude mice. A functional host immune response did not interfere with RSV-induced oncolysis, since growth of xenograft tumors in syngeneic C57BL/6J mice from murine RM1 cells was inhibited upon RSV administration. LNCaP cells failed to activate the type-I interferon (IFNα/β)-induced transcription factor STAT-1, which is required for antiviral gene expression, although these cells could produce IFN in response to RSV infection. The essential role of IFN in restricting infection was further borne out by our finding that neutralizing IFN activity resulted in enhanced RSV infection in non-tumorigenic RWPE-1 prostate cells.

Conclusions

We demonstrated that RSV is potentially a useful therapeutic tool in the treatment of androgen-sensitive and androgen-independent prostate cancer. Moreover, impaired IFN-mediated antiviral response is the likely cause of higher viral burden and resulting oncolysis of androgen-sensitive prostate cancer cells.