Bifunctional chimeric SuperCD suicide gene - YCD: YUPRT fusion is highly effective in a rat hepatoma model

Florian Graepler*, Marie Luise Lemken, Wolfgang A. Wybranietz, Ulrike Schmidt, Irina Smirnow, Christine D. Groß, Martin Spiegel, Andrea Schenk, Hansjörg Graf, Ulrike A. Lauer, Reinhard Vonthein, Michael Gregor, Sorin Armeanu, Michael Bitzer, Ulrich M. Lauer

*Corresponding author for this work
26 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: To investigate the effects of catalytically superior gene-directed enzyme prodrug therapy systems on a rat hepatoma model. Methods: To increase hepatoma cell chemosensitivity for the prodrug 5-fluorocytosine (5-FC), we generated a chimeric bifunctional SuperCD suicide gene, a fusion of the yeast cytosine deaminase (YCD) and the yeast uracil phosphoribosyltransferase (YUPRT) gene. Results: In vitro stably transduced Morris rat hepatoma cells (MH) expressing the bifunctional SuperCD suicide gene (MH SuperCD) showed a clearly marked enhancement in cell killing when incubated with 5-FC as compared with MH cells stably expressing YCD solely (MH YCD) or the cytosine deaminase gene of bacterial origin (MH BCD), respectively. In vivo, MH SuperCD tumors implanted both subcutaneously as well as orthotopically into the livers of syngeneic ACI rats demonstrated significant tumor regressions (P<0.01) under both high dose as well as low dose systemic 5-FC application, whereas MH tumors without transgene expression (MH naïve) showed rapid progression. For the first time, an order of in vivo suicide gene effectiveness (SuperCD>> YCD>>BCD>>>negative control) was defined as a result of a direct in vivo comparison of all three suicide genes. Conclusion: Bifunctional SuperCD suicide gene expression is highly effective in a rat hepatoma model, thereby significantly improving both the therapeutic index and the efficacy of hepatocellular carcinoma killing by fluorocytosine.

Original languageEnglish
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number44
Pages (from-to)6910-6919
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 28.11.2005


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