Differential effects of angiostatin, endostatin and interferon-α1 gene transfer on in vivo growth of human breast cancer cells

S. Indraccolo, E. Gola, A. Rosato, S. Minuzzo, W. Habeler, V. Tisato, V. Roni, G. Esposito, M. Morini, A. Albini, D. M. Noonan, M. Ferrantini, A. Amadori, L. Chieco-Bianchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The administration of different angiogenesis inhibitors by gene transfer has been shown to result in inhibition of tumor growth in animal tumor models, but the potency of these genes has been only partially evaluated in comparative studies to date. To identify the most effective anti-angiogenic molecule for delivery by retroviral vectors, we investigated the effects of angiostatin, endostatin and interferon(IFN)-α1 gene transfer in in vivo model of breast cancer induced neovascularization and tumor growth. Moloney leukemia virus-based retroviral vectors for expression of murine angiostatin, endostatin and IFN-α1 were generated, characterized, and used to transduce human breast cancer cell lines (MCF7 and MDA-MB435). Secretion of the recombinant proteins was confirmed by biological and Western blotting assays. Their production did not impair in vitro growth of these breast cancer cells nor their viability, and did not interfere with the expression of angiogenic factors. However, primary endothelial cell proliferation and migration in vitro were inhibited by supernatants of the transduced cells containing angiostatin, endostatin, and IFN-α1. Stable gene transfer of the IFN-α1 cDNA by retroviral vectors in both MCF7 and MDA-MB435 cells resulted in a marked and long-lasting inhibition of tumor growth in nude mice that was associated with reduced vascularization. Endostatin reduced the in vivo growth of MDA-MB435, but not MCF7 cells, despite similar levels of in vivo production, and angiostatin did not impair the in vivo growth of either cell line. These findings indicate heterogeneity in the therapeutic efficacy of angiostatic molecules delivered by viral vectors and suggest that gene therapy with IFN-α1 and endostatin might be useful for treatment of breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)867-878
Number of pages12
JournalGene Therapy
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Angiostatin
  • Endostatin
  • Gene therapy
  • Interferon
  • Retroviral vectors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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