Live attenuated measles virus (MV-Edm) has potent oncolytic activity against myeloma xenografts in mice. Therapy of multiple myeloma, a disseminated plasma cell malignancy, would require systemic administration of the virus. Thus, the virus should ideally be targeted to infect only myeloma cells to minimize collateral damage to normal tissues: viral binding to its natural receptors must be ablated and a new specificity domain that targets entry into myeloma cells be added. This study covers 2 critical steps toward generating such a retargeted virus: (1) a new specificity domain against the plasma cell marker CD38 was constructed in the form of a single-chain antibody (scFv) and (2) display of that scFv on the measles viral envelope glycoprotein successfully redirected virus entry through CD38 expressed on target cells devoid of the natural MV receptors. The anti-CD38 scFv was tethered to the C-terminus of the hemagglutinin (H) glycoprotein of MV-Edm through a Factor Xa protease cleavable linker. Immunoblot analysis demonstrated that the scFv was efficiently incorporated into recombinant viral particles. Replication of MV-αCD38 was not hindered by the scFv, reaching titers comparable to MV-Edm. Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells were resistant to infection by MV-Edm and MV-αCD38. In contrast, CHO cells expressing CD38 became susceptible to infection by MV-αCD38 but not MV-Edm. Removal of the displayed scFv rendered MV-αCD38 noninfectious on CHO-CD38 cells. Tumorigenicity of CHO-CD38 cells in immunocompromised mice was significantly attenuated by MV-αCD38, resulting in enhanced survival of these mice compared with the control group.
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