Submitted by: Melanie Conrad
Program: Biomedical Visualization
Division: Life Sciences
This piece, created in collaboration with Dr. Charles Conrad formerly of MD Anderson, is meant to show the method of entry for DNX-2401, an adenovirus which contains modified attachment points (h1 loops) that allow entry only into cancerous cells. Due to this biotechnological advancement, the virus latches to the membranebound aVb3 integrin and is shuttled into the cancer cell for replication. The closed aVb3 conformation was modified for this piece to allow visualization of the open conformation to which the virus attaches. This representative modification was based on current experimental studies on conformational changes of the integrin. The high polygon count of the virus also presented a unique artistic challenge. After engulfment of the adenovirus via the aVb3 integrin, the cancer cell later lyses, and the virus spreads throughout the tumor like a ripple through a pond. This piece intends to highlight the innovation and method behind this novel tumor therapy. Human clinical trials in patients with Glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer, have recently been approved by the FDA and are ongoing.