A proof-of-concept study is presented using dual gene therapy that employed a small hairpin RNA (shRNA) specific for mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and a herpes simplex virus-thymidine kinase (HSV-TK) gene to inhibit the growth of tumors. Recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) vectors containing a mutant TK gene (sc39TK) were transduced into HeLa cells, and the prodrug ganciclovir (GCV) was administered to establish a suicide gene-therapy strategy. Additionally, rAAV vectors expressing an mTORtargeted shRNA were employed to suppress mTOR-dependent tumor growth. GCV selectively induced death in tumor cells expressing TK, and the mTOR-targeted shRNA altered the cell cycle to impair tumor growth. Combining the TK-GCV system with mTOR inhibition suppressed tumor growth to a greater extent than that achieved with either treatment alone. Furthermore, HSV-TK expression and mTOR inhibition did not mutually interfere with each other. In conclusion, gene therapy that combines the TK-GCV system and mTOR inhibition shows promise as a novel strategy for cancer therapy.
- Mammalian target of rapamycin
- Recombinant adenoassociated virus
- Small hairpin RNA
- Suicide gene therapy
- Thymidine kinase
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research