Adenovirus-mediated Double Suicide Gene Selectively Kills Gastric Cancer Cells


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of the adenovirus-mediated double suicide gene (CD/TK) for selective killing of gastric cancer cells. Gastric cancer cells SCG7901 and normal gastric epithelial cell lines were infected by adenoviruses Ad-survivin/GFP and Ad-survivin/CD/TK. GFP expression and CD-TK were detected by fluorescence microscopy and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), respectively. After treatment of the infected cells with the pro-drugs ganciclovir (GCV) and/or 5-FC, the cell growth status was evaluated by methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium assay. Cell cycle changes were detected using flow cytometry. In nude mice bearing human gastric cancer, the recombinant adenovirus vector was injected directly into the tumor followed by an intraperitoneal injection of GCV and/or 5-FC. The subsequent tumor growth was then observed. The GFP gene driven by survivin could be expressed within the gastric cancer line SCG7901, but not in normal gastric epithelial cells. RT-PCR demonstrated the presence of the CD/TK gene product in the infected SCG7901 cells, but not in the infected normal gastric epithelial cells. The infected gastric cancer SCG7901, but not the gastric cells, was highly sensitive to the pro-drugs. The CD/TK fusion gene system showed significantly greater efficiency than either of the single suicide genes in killing the target cells (P<0.01). Treatment of the infected cells with the pro-drugs resulted in increased cell percentage in G0-Gl phase and decreased percentage in S phase. In nude mice bearing SCG7901 cells, treatment with the double suicide gene system significantly inhibited tumor growth, showing much stronger effects than either of the single suicide genes (P<0.01). The adenovirus-mediated CD/TK double suicide gene driven by survivin promoter combined with GCV an 5-FC treatment could be an effective therapy against experimental gastric cancer with much greater efficacy than the single suicide gene CD/TK combined with GCV or 5-FC.