Induction of apoptosis and inhibition of tumorigenicity and tumor growth by adenovirus vector-mediated fragile histidine triad (FHIT) gene overexpression

Lin Ji, Bingliang Fang, Nancy Yen, Kwun Fong, John D. Minna, Jack A. Roth

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239 Scopus citations


We studied the effects of fragile histidine triad (FHIT) gene overexpression mediated by an adenoviral vector, Ad-FHIT, on cell proliferation, apoptosis, and cell cycle kinetics in human cancer cells and on tumorigenicity and tumor growth in nude mice. Overexpression of the FHIT gene significantly inhibited cell growth in various Ad-FHIT-transduced human lung cancer cells and head and neck carcinoma cells with FHIT gene abnormalities, but not in normal human bronchial epithelial cells. Fewer than 20% of cells in all Ad-FHIT-transduced cells survived at 7 days after transduction. Overexpression of the FHIT gene induced cell apoptosis and altered cell cycle processes. The apoptotic cell population markedly increased, and cells accumulated in S phase after Ad-FHIT transduction. The tumorigenicity of human H1299 lung cancer cells transduced by Ad-FHIT, in comparison with that of the control transductants and untreated cells, was eliminated in vivo. Subcutaneous tumor growth in nude mice who received intratumoral injections of Ad-FHIT, at a total dose of 3 x 1010 plaque- forming units/tumor for H1299 tumors and 4 x 1010/tumor for A549 tumors, were suppressed by more than 85% and 90%, respectively, compared with that in nude mice who received injections of empty vector at the same dose or with PBS alone. Together, our results suggest that the FHIT gene, when delivered at high efficiency by a recombinant adenoviral vector, functions as a tumor suppressor gene both in vitro and in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3333-3339
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Research
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - Jul 15 1999


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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