Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

’Stop leak’ solution found for toxicity problems in experimental gene therapy

09.09.2003


A Duke University research collaboration has identified a likely route for "leakage" of therapeutic gene-bearing viruses out of tumors in experimental anti-cancer gene therapy experiments in laboratory animals. The group also found this toxic leakage can be avoided by using a chemical extracted from common brown algae.



Their work was described in a 9:30 a.m. Sept. 8 presentation at the American Chemical Society’s national meeting in New York, as well as in a research paper accepted for publication in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics.

Investigators from the biomedical engineering department at Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering and the radiation oncology department at the Duke Medical Center collaborated to trace why high concentrations of the protein produced by the therapeutic genes were present in the wrong places during animal experiments directed against tumors.


The experiments involved transplanting tumors into the legs of mice and then injecting those tumors with adenoviruses genetically altered to carry the cancer-fighting gene. About 24 hours after those adenoviruses infected the tumor cells, the virus-carried genes could then begin manufacturing a known anti-cancer protein called mouse interleukin-12 (IL-12).

When the researchers first tried the experiment using concentrations of IL-12 genes in the viruses they judged high enough to treat the cancer, "the animals died within 10 minutes," said Fan Yuan, a Duke associate professor of biomedical engineering, in an interview.

Exploring the reasons for the sudden deaths, the group used lower gene amounts that the animals could tolerate to trace what happened in their bodies during the extended infection and gene expression process.

They found that the virus preparations did not stay in the tumors as planned but also moved elsewhere in significant concentrations, principally to the liver.

The reason for that unanticipated migration was tumor blood vessel damage by the injection needle, Yuan said. After entering those vessels through the tiny wounds, viruses could quickly migrate through the entire interconnected bloodstream.

Identifying the problem, the Duke researchers also discovered an answer when they mixed the virus preparation with alginate, a major constituent of the cell walls of brown algae.

Injecting the combination of alginate and virus into the mouse tumors reduced by eight-fold the concentration of IL-12 in the animals’ livers compared to injecting the gene-bearing virus alone, the investigators found.

"The alginate solution is simple and straightforward," said Yuan, who added that this algae preparation is a nontoxic biocompatible polysaccharide used in tissue engineering.

The researchers suspect that the alginate solution’s high viscosity, about 1,000 times higher than water’s, may block most of the viruses from leaking out of the tumor tissue through injection wounds.

Such an action, Yuan acknowledged, would resemble how certain automotive products can stop leaks in radiators and power steering or oil circulation systems. "That’s the same analogy," he said. "It’s like Jello."

But that high viscosity also makes injecting the viruses into tumors more difficult. "You really have to push very hard," Yuan said.

So the researchers are now investigating whether other kinds of long-chained molecular polymers will block viral leaks as effectively as the alginate. With those, "you can use a very small force to push them through the needle," Yuan said.


###
Besides Yuan, others in group include Yong Wang, Yuan’s graduate student; Ava Krol, Yuan’s research associate; Chuan-Yuan Li, an associate research professor in radiation oncology; and Jim Kang Hu and Yong-Ping Li, research associates of Chuan-Yuan Li.

The work was supported by the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health.

Monte Basgall | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.duke.edu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Laser activated gold pyramids could deliver drugs, DNA into cells without harm
24.03.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

nachricht What does congenital Zika syndrome look like?
24.03.2017 | University of California - San Diego

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>