Overexpression of REIC/Dkk-3 in normal fibroblasts suppresses tumor growth via induction of interleukin-7

Masakiyo Sakaguchi, Ken Kataoka, Fernando Abarzua, Ryuta Tanimoto, Masami Watanabe, Hitoshi Murata, Swe Swe Than, Kaoru Kurose, Yuji Kashiwakura, Kazuhiko Ochiai, Yasutomo Nasu, Hiromi Kumon, Nam Ho Huh

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63 Citations (Scopus)


We previously showed that the tumor suppressor gene REIC/Dkk-3, when overexpressed by an adenovirus (Ad-REIC), exhibited a dramatic therapeutic effect on human cancers through a mechanism triggered by endoplasmic reticulum stress. Adenovirus vectors show no target cell specificity and thus may elicit unfavorable side effects through infection of normal cells even upon intra-tumoral injection. In this study, we examined possible effects of Ad-REIC on normal cells. We found that infection of normal human fibroblasts (NHF) did not cause apoptosis but induced production of interleukin (IL)-7. The induction was triggered by endoplasmic reticulum stress and mediated through IRE1α, ASK1, p38, and IRF-1. When Ad-REIC-infected NHF were transplanted in a mixture with untreated human prostate cancer cells, the growth of the cancer cells was significantly suppressed. Injection of an IL-7 antibody partially abrogated the suppressive effect of Ad-REIC-infected NHF. These results indicate that Ad-REIC has another arm against human cancer, an indirect host-mediated effect because of overproduction of IL-7 by mis-targeted NHF, in addition to its direct effect on cancer cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14236-14244
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - May 22 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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