Targeted photodynamic virotherapy armed with a genetically encoded photosensitizer

Kiyoto Takehara, Hiroshi Tazawa, Naohiro Okada, Yuuri Hashimoto, Satoru Kikuchi, Shinji Kuroda, Hiroyuki Kishimoto, Yasuhiro Shirakawa, Nobuhiro Narii, Hiroyuki Mizuguchi, Yasuo Urata, Shunsuke Kagawa, Toshiyoshi Fujiwara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a minimally invasive antitumor therapy that eradicates tumor cells through a photosensitizermediated cytotoxic effect upon light irradiation. However, systemic administration of photosensitizer often makes it difficult to avoid a photosensitive adverse effect. The red fluorescent protein KillerRed generates reactive oxygen species (ROS) upon green light irradiation. Here, we show the therapeutic potential of a novel tumor-specific replicating photodynamic viral agent (TelomeKiller) constructed using the human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) promoter. We investigated the lightinduced antitumor effect of TelomeKiller in several types of human cancer cell lines. Relative cell viability was investigated using an XTT assay. The in vivo antitumor effect was assessed using subcutaneous xenografted tumor and lymph node metastasis models. KillerRed accumulation resulted in ROS generation and apoptosis in light-irradiated cancer cells. Intratumoral injection of TelomeKiller efficiently delivered the KillerRed protein throughout the tumors and exhibited a long-lasting antitumor effect with repeated administration and light irradiation in mice. Moreover, intratumorally injected TelomeKiller could spread into the regional lymph node area and eliminate micrometastasis with limited-field laser irradiation. Our results suggest that KillerRed has great potential as a novel photosensitizer if delivered with a tumor-specific virus-mediated delivery system. TelomeKillerbased PDT is a promising antitumor strategy to efficiently eradicate tumor cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-208
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular cancer therapeutics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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