Bacterial-mediated DNA delivery to tumour associated phagocytic cells


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Abstract

Phagocytic cells including macrophages, dendritic cells and neutrophils are now recognised as playing a negative role in many disease settings including cancer. In particular, macrophages are known to play a pathophysiological role in multiple diseases and present a valid and ubiquitous therapeutic target. The technology to target these phagocytic cells in situ, both selectively and efficiently, is required in order to translate novel therapeutic modalities into clinical reality. We present a novel delivery strategy using non-pathogenic bacteria to effect gene delivery specifically to tumour-associated phagocytic cells. Non-invasive bacteria lack the ability to actively enter host cells, except for phagocytic cells. We exploit this natural property to effect ‘passive transfection’ of tumour-associated phagocytic cells following direct administration of transgene-loaded bacteria to tumour regions. Using an in vitro-differentiated human monocyte cell line and two in vivo mouse models (an ovarian cancer ascites and a solid colon tumour model) proof of delivery is demonstrated with bacteria carrying reporter constructs. The results confirm that the delivery strategy is specific for phagocytic cells and that the bacterial vector itself recruits more phagocytic cells to the tumour. While proof of delivery to phagocytic cells is demonstrated in vivo for solid and ascites tumour models, this strategy may be applied to other settings, including non-cancer related disease.Graphical abstract

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