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Oncolytic Viruses and Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors: Preclinical Developments to Clinical Trials
Open AccessArticle

Generation of an Oncolytic Herpes Simplex Viral Vector Completely Retargeted to the GDNF Receptor GFRα1 for Specific Infection of Breast Cancer Cells

1
Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, USA
2
Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, USA
3
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Nippon Medical School, Tokyo 113-0031, Japan
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(22), 8815; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21228815
Received: 12 November 2020 / Accepted: 18 November 2020 / Published: 21 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oncolytic Virotherapy)
Oncolytic herpes simplex viruses (oHSV) are under development for the treatment of a variety of human cancers, including breast cancer, a leading cause of cancer mortality among women worldwide. Here we report the design of a fully retargeted oHSV for preferential infection of breast cancer cells through virus recognition of GFRα1, the cellular receptor for glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF). GFRα1 displays a limited expression profile in normal adult tissue, but is upregulated in a subset of breast cancers. We generated a recombinant HSV expressing a completely retargeted glycoprotein D (gD), the viral attachment/entry protein, that incorporates pre-pro-GDNF in place of the signal peptide and HVEM binding domain of gD and contains a deletion of amino acid 38 to eliminate nectin-1 binding. We show that GFRα1 is necessary and sufficient for infection by the purified recombinant virus. Moreover, this virus enters and spreads in GFRα1-positive breast cancer cells in vitro and caused tumor regression upon intratumoral injection in vivo. Given the heterogeneity observed between and within individual breast cancers at the molecular level, these results expand our ability to deliver oHSV to specific tumors and suggest opportunities to enhance drug or viral treatments aimed at other receptors. View Full-Text
Keywords: oncolytic; herpes simplex virus; breast cancer oncolytic; herpes simplex virus; breast cancer
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hall, B.L.; Leronni, D.; Miyagawa, Y.; Goins, W.F.; Glorioso, J.C.; Cohen, J.B. Generation of an Oncolytic Herpes Simplex Viral Vector Completely Retargeted to the GDNF Receptor GFRα1 for Specific Infection of Breast Cancer Cells. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 8815.

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