p53 and PTEN/MMAC1/TEP1 gene therapy of human prostate PC-3 carcinoma xenograft, using transferrin-facilitated lipofection gene delivery strategy

Masafumi Seki, Jun Iwakawa, Helen Cheng, Pi-Wan Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Scopus citations


We previously reported that supplementation of a cationic liposome with transferrin (Tf) greatly enhanced lipofection efficiency (P.-W. Cheng, Hum. Gene Ther. 1996;7:275-282). In this study, we examined the efficacy of p53 and PTEN tumor suppressor gene therapy in a mouse xenograft model of human prostate PC-3 carcinoma cells, using a vector consisting of dimyristoyloxypropyl-3-dimethylhydroxyethyl ammonium bromide (DMRIE)-cholesterol (DC) and Tf. When the volume of the tumors grown subcutaneously in athymic nude mice reached 50-60 mm3, three intratumoral injections of the following four formulations were performed during week 1 and then during week 3: (1) saline, (2) DC + Tf + pCMVlacZ, (3) DC + Tf + pCMVPTEN, and (4) DC + Tf + pCMVp53 (standard formulation). There was no significant difference in tumor volume and survival between group 1 and group 2 animals. As compared with group 1 controls, group 3 animals had slower tumor growth during the first 3 weeks but thereafter their tumor growth rate was similar to that of the controls. By day 2 posttreatment, group 4 animals had significantly lower tumor volume relative to initial tumor volume as well as controls at the comparable time point. Also, animals treated with p53 survived longer. Treatment with DC, Tf, pCMVp53, DC + pCMVp53, or Tf + pCMVp53 had no effect on tumor volume or survival. Expression of p53 protein and apoptosis were detected in tumors treated with the standard formulation, thus associating p53 protein expression and apoptosis with efficacy. However, p53 protein was expressed in only a fraction of the tumor cells, suggesting a role for bystander effects in the efficacy of p53 gene therapy. We conclude that intratumoral gene delivery by a nonviral vector consisting of a cationic liposome and Tf can achieve efficacious p53 gene therapy of prostate cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)761-773
Number of pages13
JournalHuman gene therapy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Apr 10 2002


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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