Tumor cells expressing the herpes simplex virus-thymidine kinase (HSV-tk) gene become sensitive to ganciclovir (GCV), and the phenomenon by which tumor cells surrounding the HSV-tk expressing cells also become sensitive to GCV is known as the "bystander effect." The purpose of this study was to investigate the bystander effect in human lung-cancer cell lines, and the role of gap-junctional intercellular communication as the mechanism responsible for it. Gap-junctional intercellular communication was measured both with a dye-transfer assay involving single-cell microinjection of Lucifer Yellow and with a PKH26/calcein-AM double-dye-transfer assay. Significant bystander tumoricidal effect was observed in lung-cancer cell lines when cultured cells contained only 10% HSV-tk expressing cells. This was also observed to occur with cell lines of different origin or from different species. Although gap-junctional intercellular communication characterized by rapid transfer of Lucifer Yellow was not observed, we did detect gap-junctional communication marked by the slow transfer of calcein-AM in lung-cancer cell lines. However, neither an inhibitor (1-octanol) nor an enhancer (all trans-retinoic acid [ATRA]) of gap-junctional communication affected the extent of the bystander effect. These findings suggest that low levels of gap-junctional communication may be efficient for producing the bystander effect in lung-cancer cells, or that other mechanisms may underlie this effect. Although gap-junctional communication may play an important role in generating the bystander effect in tumor cells expressing the HSV-tk gene, further knowledge of the mechanism of this effect may help improve the treatment of lung cancer with an HSV-tk system.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology|
|Publication status||Published - 1998|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology
- Molecular Biology
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine