Novel cancer antiangiotherapy using the VEGF promoter-targeted artificial zinc-finger protein and oncolytic adenovirus

Mol Ther. 2008 Jun;16(6):1033-40. doi: 10.1038/mt.2008.63. Epub 2008 Apr 8.


Inhibition of tumor angiogenesis through modulation of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its signaling pathway has been clinically validated as a viable therapeutic modality in the treatment of cancer. The use of artificial transcription factors based on Cys2-His2 zinc-finger proteins (ZFPs) targeting the VEGF promoter offers a novel strategy for modulating VEGF levels in tumors. In order to demonstrate the utility of VEGF-targeted ZFPs as therapeutic agents, we generated adenoviruses (Ads) expressing VEGF promoter-targeted transcriptional repressor ZFP, F435-KOX. A replication-incompetent Ad expressing F435-KO X, namely, Ad-DeltaE1-KOX, significantly reduced VEGF expression and functionally led to inhibition of angiogenesis. In vivo, an oncolytic Ad expressing F435-KOX, namely, Ad-DeltaB7-KOX, elicited a pronounced antitumor effect against a human glioblastoma xenograft model, U87MG. Further, consistent with its expected mechanism of action, Ad-DeltaB7-KOX was shown to greatly reduce the level of VEGF and vessel density in tumor tissue and increase terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end-labeling (TUNEL)-positive apoptotic cells in tumors. Survival rates were also significantly increased in Ad-DeltaB7-KOX-treated mice. Taken together, the findings from this study identify F435-KOX as a novel and potent ZFP transcription factor that can inhibit VEGF-A-mediated angiogenesis and offer a novel therapeutic modality in the treatment of cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / genetics*
  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Endothelium, Vascular / cytology
  • Glioblastoma / therapy
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Oncolytic Viruses / genetics*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / genetics*
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / metabolism
  • Zinc Fingers*


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A