Research Papers:

Apoptin enhances the oncolytic properties of vaccinia virus and modifies mechanisms of tumor regression

Galina Kochneva _, Evgeniy Zonov, Antonina Grazhdantseva, Anastasiya Yunusova, Galina Sibolobova, Evgeniy Popov, Oleg Taranov, Sergei Netesov, Peter Chumakov and Elena Ryabchikova

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Oncotarget. 2014; 5:11269-11282. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.2579

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Galina Kochneva1,2, Evgeniy Zonov3, Antonina Grazhdantseva2, Anastasiya Yunusova1,3, Galina Sibolobova2, Evgeniy Popov1,2, Oleg Taranov2, Sergei Netesov1,2, Peter Chumakov1,4, Elena Ryabchikova1,3

1Novosibirsk State University, Novosibirsk, Russia

2State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology “Vector”, Koltsovo, Russia

3Institute of Chemical Biology and Fundamental Medicine, SB RAS, Novosibirsk, Russia

4Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology, Moscow

Correspondence to:

Elena Ryabchikova, e-mail: [email protected]

Sergei Netesov, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: Vaccinia virus, apoptin expressing recombinant, oncolytic properties, carcinoma A431

Received: July 15, 2014     Accepted: October 08, 2014     Published: November 19, 2014


A recombinant vaccinia virus VVdGF-ApoS24/2 expressing apoptin selectively kills human cancer cells in vitro [Kochneva et al., 2013]. We compared the oncolytic activity of this recombinant with that of the parental strain L-IVP using a model of human A431 carcinoma xenografts in nude mice. Single intratumoral injections (2×107 PFU/mouse) of the viruses produced a dramatic decrease in tumor volumes, which was higher after injection of apoptin-producing virus. The tumor dried out after the injection of recombinant while injection of L-IVP strain resulted in formation of cavities filled with cell debris and liquid. Both viruses rapidly spread in xenografts and replicate exclusively in tumor cells causing their destruction within 8 days. Both viruses induced insignificant level of apoptosis in tumors. Unlike the previously described nuclear localization of apoptin in cancer cells the apoptin produced by recombinant virus was localized to the cytoplasm. The apoptin did not induce a typical apoptosis, but it rather influenced pathway of cell death and thereby caused tumor shrinkage. The replacement of destroyed cells by filamentous material is the main feature of tumor regression caused by the VVdGF-ApoS24/2 virus. The study points the presence of complicated mechanisms of apoptin effects at the background of vaccinia virus replication.

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