Tumor-targeted delivery of biologically active TRAIL protein

H. Y. Zhang, J. H. Man, B. Liang, T. Zhou, C. H. Wang, T. Li, H. Y. Li, W. H. Li, B. F. Jin, P. J. Zhang, J. Zhao, X. Pan, K. He, W. L. Gong, X. M. Zhang, A. L. Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is a potent inducer of tumor cell apoptosis, but concerns of considerable liver toxicity limit its uses in human cancer therapy. Here, we show that i.v. injected Escherichia coli DH5α (E. coli DH5α) specifically replicates in solid tumors and metastases in live animals. E. coli DH5α does not enter tumor cells and suits for being the vector for soluble TRAIL (sTRAIL), which induces apoptosis by activating cell-surface death receptors. With the high tumor-targeting nature, we demonstrate that intratumoral (i.t.) and intravenous injection of sTRAIL-expressing E. coli DH5α results in the tumor-targeted release of biologically active molecules, which leads to a dramatic reduction in the tumor growth rate and the prolonged survival of tumor-bearing mice. TRAIL delivery by E. coli DH5α did not cause any detectable toxicity to any organs, suggesting that E. coli DH5α-delivered sTRAIL protein therapy may provide a feasible and effective form of treatment for solid tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)334-343
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Gene Therapy
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • Escherichia coli
  • Tumor targeting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research


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