In vivo anti-metastatic effects of uPAR retargeted measles virus in syngeneic and xenograft models of mammary cancer

Yuqi Jing, Marcela Toro Bejarano, Julia Zaias, Jaime R. Merchan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The urokinase receptor (uPAR) plays a critical role in breast cancer (BC) progression and metastases and is a validated target for novel therapies. The current study investigates the effects of MV-uPA, an oncolytic measles virus fully retargeted against uPAR in syngeneic and xenograft BC metastases models. In vitro replication and cytotoxicity of MVs retargeted against human (MV-h-uPA) or mouse (MV-m-uPA) uPAR were assessed in human and murine cancer and non-cancer mammary epithelial cells. The in vivo effects of species-specific uPAR retargeted MVs were assessed in syngeneic and xenograft models of experimental metastases, established by intravenous administration of luciferase expressing 4T1 or MDA-MD-231 cells. Metastases progression was assessed by in vivo bioluminescence imaging. Tumor targeting was evaluated by qRT-PCR of MV-N, rescue of viable viral particles, and immunostaining of MV particles in lungs from tumor bearing mice. In vitro, MV-h-uPA and MV-m-uPA selectively infected, replicated, and induced cytotoxicity in cancer compared to non-cancer cells in a species-specific manner. In vivo, MV-m-uPA delayed 4T1 lung metastases progression and prolonged survival. These effects were associated with identification of viable viral particles, viral RNA, and detection of MV-N by immunostaining from lung tissues in treated mice. In the human MDA-MB-231 metastases model, intravenous administration of MV-h-uPA markedly inhibited metastases progression and significantly improved survival, compared to controls. No significant treatment-related toxicity was observed in treated mice. The above preclinical findings strongly suggest that uPAR retargeted measles virotherapy is a novel and feasible systemic therapy strategy against metastatic breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-108
Number of pages10
JournalBreast cancer research and treatment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2015


  • Measles virus
  • Metastasis
  • Tumor targeting
  • Urokinase receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'In vivo anti-metastatic effects of uPAR retargeted measles virus in syngeneic and xenograft models of mammary cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this