Long-term tumor-free survival from treatment with the GFP-TRAIL fusion gene expressed from the hTERT promoter in breast cancer cells

Oncogene. 2002 Nov 14;21(52):8020-8. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1205926.


We evaluated anti-tumor activity and toxic effect of an adenoviral vector expressing the GFP/TRAIL fusion gene from the hTERT promoter (designated Ad/gTRAIL) on human breast cancer cell lines and on normal human breast cells. Treatment with Ad/gTRAIL elicited high levels of transgene expression and apoptosis in a variety of breast cancer cell lines. Furthermore, treatment with Ad/gTRAIL was effective in killing breast cancer lines resistant to doxorubicin or soluble TRAIL protein. In contrast, only minimal transgene expression and toxicity was detected in normal human primary mammary epithelial cells after treatment with this vector. An in vivo study further showed that the intralesional administration of Ad/gTRAIL effectively suppressed the growth of human tumor xenografts derived from both doxorubicin-sensitive and doxorubicin-resistant breast cancer lines. Specifically, about 50% of animals bearing doxorubicin-sensitive and doxorubicin-resistant breast cancer xenografts showed complete tumor regression and remained tumor-free for over 5 months. These results suggest that the adenovirus encoding the GFP/TRAIL gene driven by the hTERT promoter has potential application in cancer therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Genetic Therapy*
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Humans
  • In Situ Nick-End Labeling
  • Luminescent Proteins / chemistry
  • Luminescent Proteins / therapeutic use
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / chemistry
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic*
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / chemistry
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / therapeutic use*
  • TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand
  • Telomerase / genetics*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / chemistry


  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand
  • TNFSF10 protein, human
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Telomerase