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Korean J Hepatol. 2011 Sep;17(3):213-219. English. Original Article.
Lee HJ , Rho J , Gui SR , Kim MK , Lee YK , Lee YS , Kim JE , Cho E , Cho M , Hwang TH .
Department of Pharmacology, Pusan National University School of Korean Medicine, Busan, Korea.
Department of Pharmacology, Pusan National University School of Medicine, Busan, Korea.
Department of Gastroenterology, Pusan National University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea.
Research Center for Hepatic and Biliary Cancer Center, Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital, Pusan National University College of Medicine, Yangsan, Korea.

BACKGROUND/AIMS: JX-594 is an oncolytic virus derived from the Wyeth vaccinia strain that causes replication-dependent cytolysis and antitumor immunity. Starting with a cross-examination of clinical-trial samples from advanced hepatocellular carcinoma patients having high levels of aldosterone and virus amplification in JX-594 treatment, we investigated the association between virus amplification and aldosterone in human cancer cell lines. METHODS: Cell proliferation was determined by a cell-counting-kit-based colorimetric assay, and vaccinia virus quantitation was performed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and a viral plaque assay. Also, the intracellular pH was measured using a pH-sensitive dye. RESULTS: Simultaneous treatment with JX-594 and aldosterone significantly increased viral replication in A2780, PC-3, and HepG2 cell lines, but not in U2OS cell lines. Furthermore, the aldosterone treatment time altered the JX-594 replication according to the cell line. The JX-594 replication peaked after 48 and 24 hours of treatment in PC-3 and HepG2 cells, respectively. qPCR showed that JX-594 entry across the plasma membrane was increased, however, the changes are not significant by the treatment. This was inhibited by treatment with spironolactone (an aldosterone-receptor inhibitor). JX-594 entry was significantly decreased by treatment with EIPA [5-(N-ethyl-N-isopropyl)amiloride; a Na+/H+-exchange inhibitor], but aldosterone significantly restored JX-594 entry even in the presence of EIPA. Intracellular alkalization was observed after aldosterone treatment but was acidified by EIPA treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Aldosterone stimulates JX-594 amplification via increased virus entry by affecting the H+ gradient.

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