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Viral insertion of inducible aptazymes to improve the safety of oncolytic viral therapy

In vitro studies suggest inducible aptazymes that regulate viral gene expression could improve the safety of oncolytic viruses. Aptazymes are self-cleaving ribozymes linked to ligand-binding aptamers that enable ligand-triggered inhibition of target gene expression. In cancer cells infected with an adenovirus encoding an aptazyme in the E1A gene, viral genome replication, infectious particle production and cellular toxicity were decreased upon ligand exposure compared with what was seen using unmodified adenovirus or no ligand. The aptazyme also decreased infectivity of measles virus. Next steps could include assessing the therapeutic activity of aptazyme-modified oncolytic viruses.

SciBX 7(7); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.213
Published online Feb. 20, 2014

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Ketzer, P. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA; published online
Jan. 21, 2014;
Contact: Dirk M. Nettelbeck, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany