Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology

, Volume 136, Issue 12, pp 1827–1837 | Cite as

The efficacy of combination therapy using adeno-associated virus-TRAIL targeting to telomerase activity and cisplatin in a mice model of hepatocellular carcinoma

  • Yigang Wang
  • Fang Huang
  • Haibo Cai
  • Yumei Wu
  • Guoqing He
  • Wen-Song TanEmail author
Original Paper



TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) functions as a soluble cytokine and has been demonstrated significant antitumor activity against a variety of cancer cell lines without toxicity to most normal cells. Cisplatin is a potent anticancer agent and is widely used in the clinical for treatment of human cancers. Adeno-associated virus (AAV2) is a promising gene delivery vehicle for its advantage of low pathogenicity and long-term gene expression. However, lack of tissue specificity caused low efficiency of AAV transfer to target cells. The promoter of human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) is a good candidate to enhance targeting efficiency of AAV in cancer cells. Although AAV-mediated TRAIL controlled by hTERT promoter (AAV-hTERT-TRAIL) has obvious antitumor activity, the tumor cannot be completely eradicated. In this study, we first examined the effectiveness of combination therapy of cisplatin and AAV-hTERT-TRAIL on human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in vitro and in vivo.


For in vitro experiments, tumor cell lines were treated with cisplatin, virus, or both. The transgene TRAIL expression controlled by hTERT promoter was evaluated in BEL7404 HCC cell line. Cytotoxicity was performed by MTT analysis. Cell apoptosis was detected by flow cytometry analysis. The in vivo antitumor efficacy of combination treatment with cisplatin and AAV-hTERT-TRAIL was assessed in human hepatocellular carcinoma xenografts mouse model.


The enhanced TRAIL expression was observed in BEL7404 cells treated with AAV-hTERT-TRAIL plus cisplatin. Treatment with both AAV-hTERT-TRAIL and cisplatin exhibited stronger cytotoxicity and induced more significant apoptosis in cancer cells compared with AAV-hTERT-TRAIL or cisplatin alone, respectively. Moreover, in animal experiments, the combined treatment greatly suppressed tumor growth and resulted in tumor cell death.


AAV-mediated therapeutic gene expression in combination with chemotherapy provides a promising therapeutic strategy for human cancers. These data suggest that combined use of AAV-hTERT-TRAIL and cisplatin may have potential clinical application.


TRAIL Cisplatin Hepatocellular carcinoma Adeno-associated virus HTERT promoter Antitumor efficacy 



This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 30800093), Natural Science Foundation of Zhejiang Province (No. Y2090935), and Zhejiang Province “Biomedical Engineering” for the Most Important Subject Open Fund Project (No. SWYX0815). We thank Yanling Ren for cell culture and Kan Chen for FACS technical assistance.

Conflict of Interest Statement

We declare that we have no financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that can inappropriately influence our work, there is no professional or other personal interest of any nature or kind in any product, service and/or company that could be construed as influencing the position presented in, or the review of, the manuscript entitled, “The efficacy of combination therapy using adeno-associated virus-TRAIL targeting to telomerase activity and cisplatin in a mice model of hepatocellular carcinoma”.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yigang Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Fang Huang
    • 2
  • Haibo Cai
    • 1
  • Yumei Wu
    • 2
  • Guoqing He
    • 2
  • Wen-Song Tan
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Bioreactor EngineeringEast China University of Science and TechnologyShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Institute of Xinyuan Medicine and Biotechnology, College of Life ScienceZhejiang Sci-Tech UniversityHangzhouChina

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