Adenovirus-mediated heme oxygenase-1 gene transfer to neonatal porcine islet-like cluster cells: the effects on gene expression and protection from cell stress


Porcine islet xenotransplantation is a promising strategy for the treatment of diabetes that overcomes donor shortages. However, islet xenografts are susceptible to oxidative stress and apoptosis. Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) has been shown to protect cells from oxidative stress, apoptosis and inflammation. Here, we investigated whether introduction of human HO-1 (hHO-1) into neonatal porcine islet-like cell clusters (NPCCs) can induce beneficial transcriptional changes in NPCCs against cellular stress. NPCCs were transduced with either adenovirus-HO-1 (Ad-HO-1) or control adenovirus-GFP (Ad-GFP). After treatment with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) for 24 hours, nitrite oxide (NO) production assays were performed to detect oxidative stress. Microarray analysis was performed using a pig oligonucleotide 44 K gene chip. We profiled transcriptional changes to apoptosis, oxidant and inflammatory genes, and real-time PCR analysis was also performed to confirm the microarray results. Survival of NPCCs after treatment with H2O2 was significantly higher in the Ad-HO-1 group (p<0.001), and NO production also decreased in the Ad-HO-1 group (p<0.01). The microarray results showed that the expression of pro-apoptosis genes such as CASP3, CASP7, CASP10, CIDE-B and CIDE-C was significantly decreased in the Ad-HO-1 virus group (CASP10; p<0.05, CASP3, CIDE-C; p<0.01, CASP7, CIDE-B; p<0.001). We also found that the expression of oxidative stresses genes including COX1, COX2, CYB5A, SDHD and NOS2 was decreased, and that the anti-oxidant genes Gpx1 and SOD2 were increased in the Ad-HO-1 group (NOS2; p<0.05, COXI, COX2, CYB5A, SDHD, SOD2, GPX1; p<0.001). However, inflammatory gene expression was not significantly changed. Realtime PCR analysis confirmed the results of the microarray analysis. These results shed light on the underlying mechanisms of the protective effects of hHO-1 on porcine islets from cellular stresses and suggest that hHO-1 could be a promising target gene for the production of transgenic pigs that confer improved islet xenograft survival.

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Correspondence to Jaeseok Yang.

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These authors contributed equally to this work.

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Yeom, HJ., Ro, H., Park, S.J. et al. Adenovirus-mediated heme oxygenase-1 gene transfer to neonatal porcine islet-like cluster cells: the effects on gene expression and protection from cell stress. BioChip J 6, 56–64 (2012).

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  • Hemeoxgenase-1
  • Adenovirus
  • Neonatal porcine islet-like cell clusters
  • Xenotransplantation
  • Apoptosis
  • Oxidative stress