Efficacy and safety of dendrimer nanoparticles with coexpression of tumor necrosis factor-α and herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase in gene radiotherapy of the human uveal melanoma OCM-1 cell line
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Human uveal melanoma is the most common primary intraocular tumor, and brachytherapy is one of the most common and effective treatment strategies. In order to find a safer and more effective way to increase the radio sensitivity of the tumor, we tried to use the dendrimer nanoparticle performing coexpression gene radiotherapy. In this study, we constructed recombinant DNA plasmids (early growth response-1 tumor necrosis factor-α [pEgr1-TNFα], pEgr1 thymidine kinase [TK], and pEgr1-TNFα-TK) according to the Egr1 promoter sequence. The sequences of human TNFα and herpes simplex virus (HSV) TK that were published by GenBank. Agarose gel electrophoresis and DNA sequencing had proven that we constructed the double-gene recombined plasmids pEgr1-TNF-TK correctly, as well as the plasmids pEgr1-TNFα and pEgr1-TK. The dendrimer nanoparticles combined with plasmid DNA as dendriplexes were verified with agarose gel electrophoresis and observed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and scanning electron microscopy to define size and shape. Zeta potential was measured using a Zetasizer analyzer. Optimal size and neutral zeta-potential characteristics of dendriplexes were achieved for the transfection studies. DNase I examination proved that the dendriplexes could protect plasmid DNA for at least 6 hours. The recombinant plasmids were transfected with dendrimer nanoparticles into the human choroidal melanoma OCM-1 cell line, followed by exposure to iodine-125 ((125)I) after transfection. After transfection with dendrimer nanoparticles and the irradiation of (125)I, the gene expressions of TNFα and HSV1-TK were significantly increased at the protein level by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and Western blot analysis in OCM-1 cells. The cellular morphology of OCM-1 cells altering was observed by TEM, and a decrease in cell proliferation was revealed in cell-growth curves. Flow cytometry of annexin V/propidium iodide double-dyeing apoptosis and caspase-3 fluorescence staining showed that this treatment method could turn transfected OCM-1 cells into apoptosis and necrosis by the effects of the gene expression. This study indicated that the dendrimer nanoparticles with coexpression of TNF-α and HSV1-TK gene therapy are effective and safe and can provide us with a novel strategy to treat human uveal melanoma in the future.
Keywords: dendrimer nanoparticle; gene expression; gene radiotherapy; human uveal melanoma; recombinant plasmid.