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resveratrol, CArG elements, Egr-1, GADD45α, gene therapy, synthetic promoters

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We report anticarcinogenic effects of suicide gene therapy that relies on the use of resveratrol-responsive CArG elements from the Egr-1 promoter to induce GADD45α. In A549 lung cancer cells, endogenous GADD45α was not induced upon resveratrol treatment. Therefore, induction of exogenous GADD45α resulted in growth inhibition. Resveratrol transiently induced Egr-1 through ERK/JNK-ElK-1. Hence, we cloned natural or synthetic Egr-1 promoter upstream of GADD45α cDNA to create a suicide gene therapy vector. Since natural promoter may have antagonized effects, we tested synthetic promoter that contains either five, six or nine repeats of CArG elements essential in the Egr-1 promoter to drive the expression of GADD45α upon resveratrol treatment. Further analysis confirmed that both synthetic promoter and natural Egr-1 promoter were able to “turn on” the expression of GADD45α when combined with resveratrol, and subsequently led to suppression of cell proliferation and apoptosis.

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Genes & Cancer, v. 6, issue 5-6, art. 62