We have previously demonstrated the antitumor efficacy of recombinant methioninase (rMETase) derived from Pseudomonas putida. To enhance the efficacy of rMETase, we have constructed the pLGFP-METSN retrovirus encoding the P. putida methioninase (MET) gene fused with the green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene. pLGFP-METSN or control vector pLGFPSN was introduced into the human lung cancer cell line H460. The methionine level of H460-GFP-MET cells was reduced to 33% of that of H460-GFP cells. rMETase (0.08 U/mL) in the medium resulted in 10% survival of H460-GFP-MET cells compared with untreated cells in vitro. In contrast, rMETase-treated H460-GFP cells survived at 90% of control. Tissue fragments harvested from subcutaneous tumors of H460-GFP-MET or H460-MET were implanted by surgical orthotopic implantation into the lungs of nude mice. A suboptimal dose of rMETase was administered intraperitoneally daily to mice in each group. Overall survival of rMETase-treated animals with H460-GFP-MET tumors was significantly longer than either rMETase-treated or -untreated animals with H460-GFP tumors (P < .05 in log-rank test). In two repeat experiments, rMETase-treated animals with H460-GFP-MET tumors had a 30-day survival of 80% and 83%, respectively. Untreated animals with H460-GFP-MET tumors had a 30-day survival of 40% and 58%, respectively. rMETase-treated animals with H460-GFP tumors had a 30-day survival of 0% and 33%, respectively. Untreated animals with H460-GFP tumors had a 30-day survival of 0% and 33%, respectively. The retrovirus-mediated gene transfer of METase decreased the intracellular methionine level of tumor cells and consequently enhanced the efficacy of treatment with the rMETase protein. We have thus demonstrated a new strategy of combination tumor therapy with the gene and gene product of MET.