Retargeted adenoviruses for radiation-guided gene delivery

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The combination of radiation with radiosensitizing gene delivery or oncolytic viruses promises to provide an advantage that could improve the therapeutic results for glioblastoma. X-rays can induce significant molecular changes in cancer cells. We isolated the GIRLRG peptide that binds to radiation-inducible 78 kDa glucose-regulated protein (GRP78), which is overexpressed on the plasma membranes of irradiated cancer cells and tumor-associated microvascular endothelial cells. The goal of our study was to improve tumor-specific adenovirus-mediated gene delivery by selectively targeting the adenovirus binding to this radiation-inducible protein. We employed an adenoviral fiber replacement approach to conduct a study of the targeting utility of GRP78-binding peptide. We have developed fiber-modified adenoviruses encoding the GRP78-binding peptide inserted into the fiber-fibritin. We have evaluated the reporter gene expression of fiber-modified adenoviruses in vitro using a panel of glioma cells and a human D54MG tumor xenograft model. The obtained results demonstrated that employment of the GRP78-binding peptide resulted in increased gene expression in irradiated tumors following infection with fiber-modified adenoviruses, compared with untreated tumor cells. These studies demonstrate the feasibility of adenoviral retargeting using the GRP78-binding peptide that selectively recognizes tumor cells responding to radiation treatment.

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