MeV-Stealth: A CD46-specific oncolytic measles virus resistant to neutralization by measles-immune human serum

Miguel Ángel Muñoz-Aliá, Rebecca A. Nace, Alexander Tischer, Lianwen Zhang, Eugene S. Bah, Matthew Auton, Stephen J. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The frequent overexpression of CD46 in malignant tumors has provided a basis to use vaccine- lineage measles virus (MeV) as an oncolytic virotherapy platform. However, widespread measles seropositivity limits the systemic deployment of oncolytic MeV for the treatment of metastatic neoplasia. Here, we report the development of MeV-Stealth, a modified vaccine MeV strain that exhibits oncolytic properties and escapes antimeasles antibodies in vivo. We engineered this virus using homologous envelope glycoproteins from the closely-related but serologically non-cross reactive canine distemper virus (CDV). By fusing a high-affinity CD46 specific single-chain antibody fragment (scFv) to the CDV-Hemagglutinin (H), ablating its tropism for human nectin-4 and modifying the CDV-Fusion (F) signal peptide we achieved efficient retargeting to CD46. A receptor binding affinity of ~20 nM was required to trigger CD46-dependent intercellular fusion at levels comparable to the original MeV H/F complex and to achieve similar antitumor efficacy in myeloma and ovarian tumorbearing mice models. In mice passively immunized with measles-immune serum, treatment of ovarian tumors with MeV-Stealth significantly increased overall survival compared with treatment with vaccine-lineage MeV. Our results show that MeV-Stealth effectively targets and lyses CD46-expressing cancer cells in mouse models of ovarian cancer and myeloma, and evades inhibition by human measles-immune serum. MeV-Stealth could therefore represent a strong alternative to current oncolytic MeV strains for treatment of measles-immune cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1009283
JournalPLoS pathogens
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 3 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Virology


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