Get access

Efficient nonviral gene therapy with FasL and Del1 fragments in mice


C. Hidai, Division of Physiology, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Nihon University School of Medicine, 30-1 Oyaguchikami-cho, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo 173-8610, Japan. E-mail:



The expression of FasL in cancer cells is currently being explored as a potential cancer therapy. Because high levels of FasL are necessary for effective treatment, current methods typically rely on the use of highly efficient viral vectors. However, because viral vector-based gene therapy is associated with certain risks, the development of effective nonviral routes for gene delivery would be useful. The present study aimed to improve FasL gene therapy with a nonviral vector by taking advantage of the E3 and C1 domains of Del1 protein, which induces apoptosis and localizes to the extracellular matrix.


Mouse explanted tumors derived from a human oral squamous cell carcinoma cell line, SCCKN, were treated with plasmids encoding FasL (pFasL), E3C1 (pE3C1), and a fusion of FasL and E3C1 (pFasL-E3C1). The plasmids were injected locally every 7 days along with a transfection reagent, Jet-PEI (PolyPlus-transfection, San Marcos, CA, USA).


All mice treated with a negative control plasmid or pFasL died within 49 days. By contrast, 83% of mice treated with pFasL-E3C1 survived longer than 49 days. Histochemical studies revealed that the fusion protein is localized to the stroma and induces apoptosis in stromal cells and adjacent parenchymal cells.


The results obtained in the present study suggest that the protein deposition-based approach described, which makes use of the E3 and C1 domains of Del1, could comprise a novel method for cancer gene therapy with nonviral vectors. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.