Intrabodies targeting human papillomavirus 16 E6 and E7 oncoproteins for therapy of established HPV-associated tumors.

Abstract:

BACKGROUND:The oncogenic activity of the high risk human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV16) is fully dependent on the E6 and E7 viral oncoproteins produced during viral infection. The oncoproteins interfere with cellular homeostasis by promoting proliferation, inhibiting apoptosis and blocking epithelial differentiation, driving the infected cells towards neoplastic progression. The causal relationship between expression of E6/E7 and cellular transformation allows inhibiting the oncogenic process by hindering the activity of the two oncoproteins. We previously developed and characterized some antibodies in single-chain format (scFvs) against the HPV16 E6 and E7 proteins, and demonstrated both in vitro and in vivo their antitumor activity consisting of protective efficacy against tumor progression of HPV16-positive cells. METHODS:Envisioning clinical application of the best characterized anti-HPV16 E6 and -HPV16 E7 scFvs, we verified their activity in the therapeutic setting, on already implanted tumors. Recombinant plasmids expressing the anti-HPV16 E6 scFvI7 with nuclear targeting sequence, or the anti-HPV16 E7 scFv43M2 with endoplasmic reticulum targeting sequence were delivered by injection followed by electroporation to three different preclinical models using C57/BL6 mice, and their effect on tumor growth was investigated. In the first model, the HPV16+ TC-1 Luc cells were used to implant tumors in mice, and tumor growth was measured by luciferase activity; in the second model, a fourfold number of TC-1 cells was used to obtain more aggressively growing tumors; in the third model, the HPV16+ C3 cells where used to rise tumors in mice. To highlight the scFv possible mechanism of action, H&E and caspase-3 staining of tumor section were performed. RESULTS:We showed that both the anti-HPV16 E6 and HPV16 E7 scFvs tested were efficacious in delaying tumor progression in the three experimental models and that their antitumor activity seems to rely on driving tumor cells towards the apoptotic pathway. CONCLUSION:Based on our study, two scFvs have been identified that could represent a safe and effective treatment for the therapy of HPV16-associated lesions. The mechanism underlying the scFv effectiveness appears to be leading cells towards death by apoptosis. Furthermore, the validity of electroporation, a methodology allowed for human treatment, to deliver scFvs to tumors was confirmed.

journal_name

J Exp Clin Cancer Res

authors

Paolini F,Amici C,Carosi M,Bonomo C,Di Bonito P,Venuti A,Accardi L

doi

10.1186/s13046-021-01841-w

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2021-01-23 00:00:00

pages

37

issue

1

eissn

0392-9078

issn

1756-9966

pii

10.1186/s13046-021-01841-w

journal_volume

40

pub_type

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