Indexed on: 15 May '98Published on: 15 May '98Published in: Human gene therapy
The purpose of this study was to determine whether retrovirus-mediated transfer of the murine macrophage inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) gene can inhibit tumorigenicity and metastasis of human renal cancer cells. Retroviral vectors encoding murine macrophage iNOS were constructed in the pLXSN retroviral vector with the iNOS gene under the control of a long terminal repeat promoter and a neomycin resistance gene under the control of an internal simian virus 40 promoter. Highly metastatic human renal carcinoma SN12PM6 cells were infected with control or iNOS retrovirus. Expression of iNOS was confirmed by Northern and Western blot analyses, and expression of the functional iNOS protein, i.e., production of nitric oxide (NO), was determined by measuring nitrite accumulation in culture supernatants. Noninfected or control cells produced large orthotopic tumors in the kidney of nude mice and a larger number of experimental lung metastases, whereas iNOS-infected cells produced small tumors in the kidneys and few to no lung metastases. The data indicate that the infection of human renal cancer cells by retroviruses harboring the murine iNOS gene can induce the production of high levels of NO, which is associated with autocytotoxicity, suppression of tumorigenicity, and abrogation of metastasis.