Virus-directed, enzyme prodrug therapy with nitroimidazole reductase: a phase I and pharmacokinetic study of its prodrug, CB1954. (25/274)

CB1954 [5-(aziridin-1-yl)-2,4-dinitrobenzamide] is converted by the bacterial enzyme nitroimidazole reductase (NTR) into a potent cytotoxic bifunctional alkylating agent, which can be delivered to tumors in adenoviral vectors as virus-directed, enzyme prodrug therapy. This report summarizes a Phase I and pharmacokinetic study of the prodrug, CB1954. Thirty patients, ages 23-78 years (median 62 years), with predominantly gastrointestinal malignancies were treated. CB1954 was administered by i.v. injection every 3 weeks or i.p. followed by 3-weekly i.v. injections, toward a maximum of six cycles. The dose was escalated from 3 to 37.5 mg/m2. No significant toxicity was seen until 24 mg/m2 (recommended i.v. dose). Dose-limiting toxicities (DLT) were diarrhea and hepatic toxicity, seen at 37.5 mg/m2. DLT has not been observed at the current i.p. dose of 24 mg/m2. There was no alopecia, marrow suppression, or nephrotoxicity. Clearance data suggest hepatic metabolism, and <5% of CB1954 was renally excreted. There was a nonlinear relationship between i.v. dose and area under the curve (AUC). At the recommended i.v. dose of 24 mg/m2, the AUC was 5.8 microM/h. Intraperitoneal administration (24 mg/m2) achieved an AUC of 387 microM/h, giving a considerable regional advantage. In vitro, the AUC required to achieve the IC50 for CB1954, in NTR-expressing cancer cells, ranges from 10-50 microM/h. Thus, CB1954 is well tolerated at a dose of 24 mg/m2, and sufficient serum/peritoneal levels are achieved for an enzyme-prodrug approach to be feasible. We are now conducting a Phase I trial combining adenovirus-mediated NTR and i.v. CB1954 (24 mg/m2) in patients with primary and secondary liver tumors.  (+info)

High-level, beta-catenin/TCF-dependent transgene expression in secondary colorectal cancer tissue. (26/274)

There is an urgent need for improved therapies for inoperable metastatic colon cancer. Gene-directed enzyme prodrug therapy (GDEPT) using adenovirus vectors works well in preclinical models of this disease, but successful clinical application is hampered by an inability to construct vectors that express at high levels in infected tumor cells but not in infected normal cells. Constitutive activation of beta-catenin-dependent gene expression is almost certainly a key causative event in the genesis of colon and some other cancers. Here we have exploited this oncogenic defect to design a synthetic promoter, CTP1, that, in contrast to currently available tumor-selective promoters, is both highly active in cancer cells and highly cancer-cell-specific. CTP1 directs high-level beta-galactosidase expression in freshly isolated biopsies of secondary colon cancer, but is not detectably active in associated normal liver tissue. We also demonstrate that CTP1 can direct high-level, tumor-specific therapeutic gene expression in vivo. Intratumoral injection of an adenovirus vector encoding Escherichia coli nitroreductase driven by CTP1 efficiently sensitized SW480 xenografts to the prodrug CB1954, whereas systemic vector and prodrug administration produced no apparent signs of toxicity. CTP1 may form the basis for effective, targeted gene therapy of metastatic colon cancer and other tumors with deregulated beta-catenin/T cell factor.  (+info)

A novel strategy for NQO1 (NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase, EC mediated therapy of bladder cancer based on the pharmacological properties of EO9. (27/274)

The indolequinone EO9 demonstrated good preclinical activity but failed to show clinical efficacy against a range of tumours following intravenous drug administration. A significant factor in EO9's failure in the clinic has been attributed to its rapid pharmacokinetic elimination resulting in poor drug delivery to tumours. Intravesical administration of EO9 would circumvent the problem of drug delivery to tumours and the principal objective of this study is to determine whether or not bladder tumours have elevated levels of the enzyme NQO1 (NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase) which plays a key role in activating EO9 under aerobic conditions. Elevated NQO1 levels in human bladder tumour tissue exist in a subset of patients as measured by both immunohistochemical and enzymatic assays. In a panel of human tumour cell lines, EO9 is selectively toxic towards NQO1 rich cell lines under aerobic conditions and potency can be enhanced by reducing extracellular pH. These studies suggest that a subset of bladder cancer patients exist whose tumours possess the appropriate biochemical machinery required to activate EO9. Administration of EO9 in an acidic vehicle could be employed to reduce possible systemic toxicity as any drug absorbed into the blood stream would become relatively inactive due to an increase in pH.  (+info)

Telomerase-specific suicide gene therapy vectors expressing bacterial nitroreductase sensitize human cancer cells to the pro-drug CB1954. (28/274)

Telomerase activation is considered to be a critical step in cancer progression due to its role in cellular immortalization. The prevalence of telomerase expression in human cancers makes it an attractive candidate for new mechanism-based targets for cancer therapy. The selective killing of cancer cells can be achieved by gene-directed enzyme pro-drug therapy (GDEPT). In this study we have tested the feasibility of using the transcriptional regulatory sequences from the hTERT and hTR genes to regulate expression of the bacterial nitroreductase enzyme in combination with the pro-drug CB1954 in a suicide gene therapy strategy. hTERT and hTR promoter activity was compared in a panel of 10 cell lines and showed a wide distribution in activity; low activity was observed in normal cells and telomerase-negative immortal ALT cell lines, with up to 300-fold higher activity observed in telomerase positive cancer lines. Placing the nitroreductase gene under the control of the telomerase gene promoters sensitized cancer cells in tissue culture to the pro-drug CB1954 and promoter activity was predictive of sensitization to the pro-drug (2-20-fold sensitization), with cell death restricted to lines exhibiting high levels of promoter activity. The in vivo relevance of these data was tested using two xenograft models (C33a and GLC4 cells). Significant tumour reduction was seen with both telomerase promoters and the promoter-specific patterns of sensitization observed in tissue culture were retained in xenograft models. Thus, telomerase-specific suicide gene therapy vectors expressing bacterial nitroreductase sensitize human cancer cells to the pro-drug CB1954.  (+info)

Bacillus amyloliquefaciens orthologue of Bacillus subtilis ywrO encodes a nitroreductase enzyme which activates the prodrug CB 1954. (29/274)

A nitroreductase with distinct properties that can activate the prodrug 5-aziridinyl-2,4-dinitrobenzamide (CB 1954) was isolated from Bacillus amyloliquefaciens. The encoding gene was identified as a homologue of the ywrO of Bacillus subtilis, and was obtained as a PCR product by reverse genetics, cloned and the entire nucleotide sequence determined. The gene was found to reside between homologues of the B. subtilis alsD and yswB genes; however, the ywrO and yswB genes of B. amyloliquefaciens were not separated by a fourth gene, ywsA. The B. amyloliquefaciens ywrO gene was overexpressed, the recombinant protein purified and its properties were compared with those of two CB 1954-activating enzymes, Escherichia coli B nitroreductase (NTR) and Walker DT-diaphorase (DTD). In common with these enzymes menadione was an electron acceptor (K(m) 3 microM) and activity with this substrate was inhibited by the presence of dicoumarol (K(i) 1.0 microM). In contrast, YwrO showed a marked preference for NADPH as a cofactor (K(m) 40 microM) and therefore could not be classified as a DTD (EC The flavin FMN was an acceptor with high affinity. B. amyloliquefaciens YwrO was shown to be a flavoprotein with a monomeric molecular mass of 21.5 kDa by calculation and SDS-PAGE. The cytotoxic 4-hydroxylamine derivative was the single CB 1954 reduction product, but B. amyloliquefaciens YwrO was inactive with the bischloroethyl analogue of CB 1954, SN 23862. In both of these properties B. amyloliquefaciens YwrO more closely resembles DTD than NTR. Its K(m) for CB 1954 was lower than that of NTR (617 microM compared to 862 microM). Enhanced in vitro cytotoxicity of CB 1954 was demonstrated on incubation of V79 cells with prodrug, NADPH and B. amyloliquefaciens YwrO. The work has led to the identification of a previously unknown nitroreductase, B. amyloliquefaciens YwrO, with distinct properties which will aid the rational selection of appropriate genes for applications in directed enzyme prodrug therapy (DEPT).  (+info)

Quantitation of bystander effects in nitroreductase suicide gene therapy using three-dimensional cell cultures. (30/274)

The efficacy of cancer gene therapy depends critically on "bystander effects" by which genetic modification of tumor cells results in killing of unmodified cells in the local microenvironment. In gene-dependent enzyme-prodrug therapy, expression of a prodrug-activating suicide gene is used to generate a cytotoxic metabolite that diffuses to nontransduced cells. The objective of this study was to develop a physiologically relevant tissue culture model for quantifying bystander effects and to validate the model using as an example the activation of dinitrobenzamide prodrugs (e.g., CB 1954) by Escherichia coli aerobic nitroreductase (NTR). Bystander effects were measured in three-dimensional multilayer cocultures of NTR+ and NTR- cells by determining clonogenic survival curves for both cell types using V79, Skov3, or WiDr as parental cell lines. Bystander killing by CB 1954 was much more efficient in multilayers than monolayers at equivalent cell:medium ratios, whereas the chloromustard analogue of CB 1954 showed even greater efficiency. For a series of dinitrobenzamides, bystander killing in multilayers showed a positive correlation with prodrug lipophilicity and also correlated with the bystander effect in mixed tumor xenografts grown from the same NTR+ and NTR- WiDr cell lines (r(2) = 0.84; P < 0.001). The multilayer model identified a bromomustard prodrug (SN 24927) with superior therapeutic activity to CB 1954 that provided curative activity against WiDr tumors comprising 1:1 mixtures of NTR+ and NTR- cells. This study demonstrates the utility of the multilayer tissue culture model for quantifying and optimizing bystander effects in tumors and identifies a new lead prodrug for NTR gene-dependent enzyme-prodrug therapy.  (+info)

Hypoxia-inducible regulation of a prodrug-activating enzyme for tumor-specific gene therapy. (31/274)

Previous studies have suggested that tumor hypoxia could be exploited for cancer gene therapy. Using hypoxia-responsive elements derived from the human vascular endothelial growth factor gene, we have generated vectors expressing a bacterial nitroreductase (NTR) gene that can activate the anticancer prodrug CB1954. Stable transfectants of human HT1080 tumor cells with hypoxia-inducible vectors were established with G418 selection. Hypoxic induction of NTR protein correlated with increased sensitivity to in vitro exposure of HT1080 cells to the prodrug. Growth delay assays were performed with established tumor xenografts derived from the same cells to detect the in vivo efficacy of CB1954 conversion to its cytotoxic form. Significant antitumor effects were achieved with intraperitoneal injections of CB1954 both in tumors that express NTR constitutively or with a hypoxia-inducible promoter. In addition, respiration of 10% 02 increased tumor hypoxia in vivo and enhanced the antitumor effects. Taken together, these results demonstrate that hypoxia-inducible vectors may be useful for tumor-selective gene therapy, although the problem of delivery of the vector to the tumors, particularly to the hypoxic cells in the tumors, is not addressed by these studies.  (+info)

Extraction of lead(II) and copper(II) from salicylate media by tributylphosphine oxide. (32/274)

Tributylphosphine oxide (TBPO) is proposed as an extractant for the extraction of lead(II) and copper(II) from salicylate media. The optimum conditions were evaluated by varying the experimental parameters, such as the pH, sodium salicylate concentration, tributylphosphine oxide (TBPO) concentration, shaking period and various diluents. The probable extracted species, deduced from log-log plots were Pb(HSal)2.2TBPO and Cu(HSal)2.2TBPO. The extraction took place through a solvation mechanism. The method permits the binary separation of lead(II) and copper(II) from commonly associated elements as well as the mutual separation of lead(II) and copper(II). The method is applicable to the determination of lead(II) and copper(II) in various alloys as well as environmental and pharmaceutical samples.  (+info)