Octyl itaconate enhances VSVΔ51 oncolytic virotherapy by multitarget inhibition of antiviral and inflammatory pathways

Published: 2024
Nature Communications 15, 4096 (2024)
ISBN: 2041-1723


The presence of heterogeneity in responses to oncolytic virotherapy poses a barrier to clinical effectiveness, as resistance to this treatment can occur through the inhibition of viral spread within the tumor, potentially leading to treatment failures. Here we show that 4-octyl itaconate (4-OI), a chemical derivative of the Krebs cycle-derived metabolite itaconate, enhances oncolytic virotherapy with VSVΔ51 in various models including human and murine resistant cancer cell lines, three-dimensional (3D) patient-derived colon tumoroids and organotypic brain tumor slices. Furthermore, 4-OI in combination with VSVΔ51 improves therapeutic outcomes in a resistant murine colon tumor model. Mechanistically, we find that 4-OI suppresses antiviral immunity in cancer cells through the modification of cysteine residues in MAVS and IKKβ independently of the NRF2/KEAP1 axis. We propose that the combination of a metabolite-derived drug with an oncolytic virus agent can greatly improve anticancer therapeutic outcomes by direct interference with the type I IFN and NF-κB-mediated antiviral responses.

Naziia Kurmasheva
Aida Said
Boaz Wong
Walid A. M. Elgaher
et al.