Object. Malignant glioma could be an ideal candidate for local gene therapy because its invasion is local and it has little metastatic potential. A low expression level and high degradation activity of p27 are known to constitute an independent poor prognostic factor in patients with malignant glioma. In this study, the authors investigated the roles of wild-type p27 and mutant p27 on the treatment of malignant glioma.
Methods. The authors used two adenoviruses: one expressed wild-type p27 (ad-p27wt) and the other, containing a mutation at the major metabolic site, expressed mutant p27 (ad-p27mt). The antitumor effects of the two adenoviruses were compared with respect to cell growth arrest, cell cycle alteration, apoptosis induction, and in vitro tumorigenicity in three glioblastoma mutiforme (GBM) cell lines and in a primary GBM cell line. Transduction with ad-p27wt or ad-p27mt induced the production of p27 and the dephosphorylation of pRB. The protein level of mutant p27 was significantly higher than that of wild-type p27. The ad-p27wt induced cell cycle arrest at the G1—S transition point, whereas the ad-p27mt induced arrest at the G2—M point. Both ad-p27wt and ad-p27mt induced a growth-inhibiting effect, apoptosis, and suppression of in vitro tumorigenicity; however, ad-p27mt displayed a stronger antitumor effect than ad-p27wt in brain tumor cell lines.
Conclusions. Gene therapy involving p27, especially mutant p27, has the potential to become a novel and powerful therapy for malignant glioma.