Nitric oxide (NO) has been reported to sensitize cancer cells to radiation. Since delivery of NO to tumors is limited in vivo by systemic toxicity of NO, we examined the potential of gene delivery of the human inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) gene as a means of achieving high output NO production. We successfully transduced two colorectal cancer cell lines as evidenced by increased iNOS protein accumulation and nitrite production. We found that overexpression of iNOS enhanced the effects of radiation on apoptosis in both cell lines in a caspase-dependent fashion. Gene transfer of iNOS holds much promise as a potential radiosensitizer of cancer cells since it increases apoptosis in an additive manner with radiation.
- Gene therapy
- Inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS)
- Nitric oxide