Calcium Influx Caused by ER Stress Inducers Enhances Oncolytic Adenovirus Enadenotucirev Replication and Killing through PKCα Activation

Oncolytic viruses represent an emerging approach to cancer therapy. However, better understanding of their interaction with the host cancer cell and approaches to enhance their efficacy are needed. Here, we investigate the effect of chemically induced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress on the activity of the chimeric group B adenovirus Enadenotucirev, its closely related parental virus Ad11p, and the archetypal group C oncolytic adenovirus Ad5. We show that treatment of colorectal and ovarian cancer cell lines with thapsigargin or ionomycin caused an influx of Ca2+, leading to an upregulation in E1A transcript and protein levels. Increased E1A protein levels, in turn, increased levels of expression of the E2B viral DNApolymerase, genome replication, late viral protein expression, infectious virus particle production, and cell killing during Enadenotucirev and Ad11p, but not Ad5, infection. This effect was not due to the induction of ER stress, but rather the influx of extracellular Ca2+ and consequent increase in protein kinase C activity. These results underscore the importance of Ca2+ homeostasis during adenoviral infection, indicate a signaling pathway between protein kinase C and E1A, and raise the possibility of using Ca2+ flux-modulating agents in the manufacture and potentiation of oncolytic virotherapies.

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