Tissue-specific gene expression in medullary thyroid carcinoma cells employing calcitonin regulatory elements and AAV vectors

Cancer Gene Ther. 2001 Jul;8(7):469-72. doi: 10.1038/sj.cgt.7700327.


Calcitonin (CT), the major secretory product of the C cell, is also expressed in C-cell-derived neoplasia. To investigate the role of the CT gene regulatory sequence in tissue-specific gene expression, the genes coding for the herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase (HSVtk) and for the enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) regulated by the CT promoter (rAAV/CT266tkneo), the CT promoter/enhancer element (rAAV/CTenhtkneo), or the cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter (rAAV/CMVtkneo) were transduced by recombinant adenoassociated viral (AAV) vectors into the medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) cell lines TT and hMTC and into HeLa cells as controls. In TT cell lines and hMTC cell lines transiently infected by the rAAV/CT266tkneo viruses, a significant increase in (3)H ganciclovir uptake was observed. Upon ganciclovir treatment, TT cells infected by rAAV/CT266tkneo revealed a significant growth inhibition, which was less tissue-specific because HeLa cells were also affected by these particles (74.5%). In contrast, a minor but more tissue-specific growth inhibition (33.6%) was observed for TT cells after transient infection with the rAAV/CTenhtkneo particles. Employing EGFP controlled by CMV promoter and the individual CT regulatory sequences for transduction by rAAV particles, similar results were obtained indicating that both the CT promoter and enhancer element are required for tissue-specific gene expression in MTC.

MeSH terms

  • Calcitonin / biosynthesis*
  • Cell Separation
  • Dependovirus / genetics*
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Gene Transfer Techniques*
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Luminescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Neoplasms, Ductal, Lobular, and Medullary / genetics
  • Neoplasms, Ductal, Lobular, and Medullary / metabolism*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Simplexvirus / genetics
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / genetics
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Time Factors
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Transfection
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Calcitonin