Docetaxel increases antitumor efficacy of oncolytic prostate-restricted replicative adenovirus by enhancing cell killing and virus distribution

Xiong Li, Youhong Liu, Yong Tang, Phipps Roger, Meei Huey Jeng, Chinghai Kao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: We explored multiple molecular mechanisms of the combination of docetaxel and an oncolytic prostate-restricted replication competent adenovirus (Ad) (PRRA) in advanced prostate cancer (PCa) models. The combinational therapy has potential to overcome the therapeutic limitations of poor virus distribution inside solid tumors. Methods: We evaluated the effect of docetaxel on the antitumor efficacy and efficiency of virus transduction, transgene expression and virus distribution of PRRA in a prostate-specific antigen/prostate-specific membrane antigen-positive tumor xenograft model. We also evaluated the effect of docetaxel on apoptosis induction, cell killing and the efficiency of transgene expression and virus replication in vitro. Results: Tumor growth inhibition was significantly enhanced when docetaxel was administrated before intratumor injection of PRRA. In vivo dual-photon microscopy and ex vivo fluorescence microscopy and immunohistochemistry showed that docetaxel increased transgene expression and expanded virus distribution. The combination of docetaxel and PRRA also increased cell apoptosis. In vitro, docetaxel significantly increased cell killing in PRRA-treated PCa cells. Docetaxel significantly increased Ad-mediated trangene expression independent of Ad binding receptors and replication capability. Docetaxel increased the activity of cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter but not of a chimeric prostate-specific enhancer, resulting in higher transgene expression. The enhanced CMV promoter activity resulted from activation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) because inhibition of p38 MAPK blocked the docetaxel-induced increase in CMV promoter activity. Conclusions: Combining docetaxel with an oncolytic PRRA improved therapeutic potential by expanding virus distribution and enhancing cell apoptosis and killing. These studies suggested a novel mechanism for enhancing the effect of therapeutic genes delivered by a PRRA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)516-527
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Gene Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Chemotherapy
  • CMV promoter
  • Docetaxel
  • Gene therapy
  • Oncolytic adenovirus
  • p38 MAPK

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Drug Discovery
  • Medicine(all)

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