Advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) frequently develops skeletal metastasis and is highly resistant to conventional therapies. We hypothesized that the osteocalcin (OC) promoter may be a promising gene delivery system for RCC targeted gene therapy because osteotropic tumors gain osteomimetic properties and thrive in the new environment by exhibiting a bone-like gene expression profile. Human OC (hOC) expression is highly regulated by vitamins and hormone. In the present study, we tested the feasibility of vitamin-regulatable hOC promoter for RCC-specific transcriptional targeting, and examined the anti-tumor effect of vitamins C and D3 with hOC-based adenoviral vectors towards RCC.
Real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction measured OC expression induced by vitamins C and D3, either alone or in combination, in RCC and normal human renal epithelial cells (HRE). The RCC-cytotoxic effects of concomitant vitamins and hOC promoter-based adenoviral vectors, Ad-hOC-TK and Ad-hOC-E1, were evaluated in both cell culture and a xenograft murine model.
We found that high doses of vitamin C induced H2O2-dependent apoptosis in RCC but not HRE. Treatment of RCC cells with combined vitamins C and D3 treatment significantly increased OC promoter activity compared to single reagent treatment. Combined vitamin therapy reduced tumor size (85%) and complete tumor regression occurred in 38% of mice co-administrated Ad-hOC-E1.