Human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) is the catalytic subunit of telomerase, which is highly active in immortalized cells and >85% of human cancers but is quiescent in most normal somatic cells. To test the feasibility of using the hTERT promoter to induce rumor-specific transgene expression in cancer gene therapy, we constructed an adenoviral vector expressing a LacZ reporter gene driven by the hTERT core promoter and evaluated its activity in vitro and in vivo. The hTERT promoter could drive high-level expression of LacZ in tumor cells but not in normal cells and normal mouse tissues. Using a binary adenoviral system that can induce Bax gene expression, we showed that induction of the Bax gene expression via the hTERT promoter elicited tumor-specific apoptosis in vitro, suppressed tumor growth in nude mice, and prevented the toxicity of the Bax gene in vitro and in vivo. Thus, the hTERT promoter is apparently a strong and tumor-selective promoter with potential application in targeted cancer gene therapy.
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 1 2000|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research