Combination of radiotherapy and adenovirus-mediated p53 gene therapy for MDM2-overexpressing hepatocellular carcinoma

Woong Sub Koom, Soo Yeon Park, Wonwoo Kim, Minjung Kim, Ji Seong Kim, Hyunki Kim, Il Kyu Choi, Chae Ok Yun, Jinsil Seong

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24 Citations (Scopus)


The p53 gene plays a determinant role in radiation-induced cell death and its protein product is negatively regulated by MDM2. We investigated whether adenovirus-mediated modified p53 gene transfer, which blocks p53-MDM2 binding, is effective for radiation-induced cell death in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) at different MDM2 cellular levels. Human hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines expressing MDM2 at low levels (Huh7) and high levels (SK-Hepl) were used. Ad-p53 and Ad-p53vp are replication-deficient adenoviral vectors containing human wild-type or modified p53, respectively. The anti-tumor effect was highest for Ad-p53 + radiotherapy (RT) in the low-level MDM2 cells, whereas this effect was highest for Ad-p53vp + RT in the MDM2-overexpressing cells. In Huh-7 cells, Ad-p53 + RT decreased cell viability (32%) in vitro and inhibited tumor growth (enhancement factor, 1.86) in vivo. Additionally, p21 expression and apoptosis were increased. In contrast, in SK-Hepl cells, Ad-p53vp + RT showed decreased cell viability (51%) in vitro and inhibition of tumor growth (enhancement factor, 3.07) in vivo. Caspase-3 expression and apoptosis were also increased. Adenovirus-expressing modified p53, which blocks p53- MDM2 binding, was effective in killing tumor cells overexpressing MDM2. Furthermore, the combination strategy for disruption of the p53-MDM2 interaction with RT demonstrated enhanced anti-tumor effects both in vitro and in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-210
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of radiation research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Mar

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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