Oncolytic foamy virus: Generation and properties of a nonpathogenic replicating retroviral vector system that targets chronically proliferating cancer cells

Karol M. Budzik, Rebecca A. Nace, Yasuhiro H Ikeda, Stephen J. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Nonpathogenic retroviruses of the Spumaretrovirinae subfamily can persist long term in the cytoplasm of infected cells, completing their life cycle only after the nuclear membrane dissolves at the time of cell division. Since the targeting of slowly dividing cancer cells remains an unmet need in oncolytic virotherapy, we constructed a replication-competent foamy virus vector (oFV) from the genomes of two chimpanzee simian foamy viruses (PAN1 and PAN2) and inserted a green fluorescent protein (GFP) transgene in place of the bel-2 open reading frame. oFV-GFP infected and propagated with slow kinetics in multiple human tumor cell lines, inducing a syncytial cytopathic effect. Infection of growth-arrested MRC5 cells was not productive, but oFV genomes persisted in the cytoplasm, and the productive viral life cycle resumed when cell division was later restored. In vivo, the virus propagated extensively in intraperitoneal ovarian cancer xenografts, slowing tumor growth, significantly prolonging survival of the treated mice, and sustaining GFP transgene expression for at least 45 days. Our data indicate that oFV is a promising new replication-competent viral and gene delivery platform for efficient targeting of the most fundamental trait of cancer cells, their ability to sustain chronic proliferation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00015-21
JournalJournal of virology
Volume95
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2021

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • Oncolytic virotherapy
  • Simian foamy virus
  • Targeting chronic proliferation
  • Viral vectors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology

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