We report here the use of viral fusogenic membrane glycoproteins (FMGs) as a new class of therapeutic genes for the control of tumor growth. FMGs kill cells by fusing them into large multinucleated syncytia, which die by sequestration of cell nuclei and subsequent nuclear fusion by a mechanism that is nonapoptotic, as assessed by multiple criteria. Direct and bystander killing of three different FMGs were at least one log more potent than that of herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase or cytosine deaminase suicide genes. Transduction of human tumor xenografts with plasmid DNA prevented tumor outgrowth in vivo, and cytotoxicity could be regulated through transcriptional targeting. Syncytial formation is accompanied by the induction of immunostimulatory heat shock proteins, and tumor-associated FMG expression in immunocompetent animals generated specific antitumor immunity.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|State||Published - Mar 15 2000|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research