Suppressing the growth of rectal cancer xenografts derived from patient tumors by an adenovector expressing small hairpin RNA targeting Bcl-XL

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Bcl-XL, a mitochondria membrane protein, is overexpressed in colorectal cancers and promotes cell survival. We have previously shown that the adenovector expressing small hairpin (sh)RNA targeting Bcl-XL could induce significantly apoptosis in colon cancer cells. In the present study, we aimed to further detect the anti-cancer effect of adenovector expressing the shRNA targeting Bcl-XL (Ad/Bcl-XL shRNA) on rectal cancer xenografts that were derived from patient tumors.


We first established three rectal cancer xenografts. These xenografts were subsequently treated with Ad/Bcl-XL shRNA alone or in combination with 5-fluouracil (5-Fu). Finally, the inhibition of tumor growth, survival time and induction of apoptosis were analyzed.


The results obtained demonstrated that Ad/Bcl-XL shRNA could effectively suppress the tumor growth of all three rectal cancer xenografts and prolong their survival time. After being combined with 5-Fu, the suppressing effect of Ad/Bcl-XL shRNA was enhanced further. In addition, the data also showed that Ad/Bcl-XL shRNA combined with 5-Fu could significantly increase the apoptotic ratio in the rectal cancer xenograft.


These data indicate that Ad/Bcl-XL shRNA with or without 5-Fu has effective anti-tumor effects on the patient tumor-derived rectal cancer xenografts, suggesting that it could be a potential strategy for rectal cancer therapy. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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