Background: In the present study the physical targeting technique photochemical internalization (PCI) has been used in combination with adenovirus. We have previously shown that PCI enhances transgene expression from AdhCMV-lacZ, and the aim of the present study was to further increase the understanding of photochemically mediated adenoviral transduction.
Methods: Two colorectal carcinoma cell lines, WiDr and HCT116, were pre-incubated with the photosensitizer TPPS(2a) or methylene blue derivates (MBD) followed by infection with adenovirus and light exposure. Transgene expression was measured by flow cytometry. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) were used to quantify the level of viral DNA in the nuclei. Real-time PCR was also used to measure the level of beta-galactosidase mRNA in samples infected with AdhCMV-lacZ.
Results: Exposing TPPS(2a)-treated cells to light enhanced the quantity of viral DNA in the nucleus, the mRNA level of the transgene and the transgene expression compared to non-illuminated cells. The increased transgene expression was independent of the promoter used, but dependent on the time of light exposure and the cellular localization of the photosensitizer.
Conclusions: The enhanced transgene expression observed after photochemical treatment is most likely not a result of one event, but more an interplay between various mechanisms. An increased level of adenoviral DNA in the nucleus and a dependency of endosomal localization of the photosensitizer to obtain enhanced transgene expression suggested that endosomal rupture facilitated the transport of adenoviruses to the nucleus.
Copyright 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.