NK cells augment oncolytic adenovirus cytotoxicity in ovarian cancer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Darren P. Ennis
  • Philippa R. Kennedy
  • Christopher Hansell
  • Suzanne Dowson
  • Malcolm Farquharson
  • Pavlina Spiliopoulou
  • Jaya Nautiyal
  • Sophie Mcnamara
  • Leo M. Carlin
  • Daniel M. Davis
  • Gerard Graham
  • Iain A. Mcneish


Oncolytic viruses (OVs) can trigger profound innate and adaptive immune responses, which have the potential both to potentiate and reduce the activity of OVs. Natural killer (NK) cells can mediate potent anti-viral and anti-tumoral responses, but there are no data on the role of NK cells in oncolytic adenovirus activity. Here, we have used two different oncolytic adenoviruses—the Ad5 E1A CR2-deletion mutant dl922-947 (group C) and the chimeric Ad3/Ad11p mutant enadenotucirev (group B)—to investigate the effect of NK cells on overall anti-cancer efficacy in ovarian cancer. Because human adenoviruses do not replicate in murine cells, we utilized primary human NK cells from peripheral blood and ovarian cancer ascites. Our results show that dl922-947 and enadenotucirev do not infect NK cells, but induce contact-dependent activation and anti-cancer cytotoxicity against adenovirus-infected ovarian cancer cells. Moreover, manipulation of NK receptors DNAM-1 (DNAX accessory molecule-1) and TIGIT (T cell immunoreceptor with Ig and ITIM domains) significantly influences NK cytotoxicity against adenovirus-infected cells. Together, these results indicate that NK cells act to increase the activity of oncolytic adenovirus in ovarian cancer and suggest that strategies to augment NK activity further via the blockade of inhibitory NK receptor TIGIT could enhance therapeutic potential of OVs.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-301
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Therapy - Oncolytics
Early online date15 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2020


  • DNAM-1TIGIT, Ovarian cancer, Oncolytic viru, Adenovirus, NK cell