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J Immunol. 1997 Feb 1;158(3):1284-92.

IFN regulatory factor-1 gene transfer into an aggressive, nonimmunogenic sarcoma suppresses the malignant phenotype and enhances immunogenicity in syngeneic mice.

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  • 1Laboratory of Biological Therapy, Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.


IFN-gamma has a direct antitumor effect on many tumor cell lines mediated through the IFN-gammaR. One effect of IFN-gamma is to induce the nuclear transcription factor IFN regulatory factor-1 (IRF-1), which may function as a tumor suppressor. In this study, mouse IRF-1 cDNA under a high constitutive expression promoter was transfected into the highly aggressive, nonimmunogenic MCA 101 murine sarcoma. Clones were obtained by G418 selection and screened for IRF-1 mRNA expression by reverse transcriptase-PCR (RT-PCR). High expression clones had high levels of two MHC class I proteins (H-2Kb and H-2Db) on the cell surface that correlated with increased levels of class I mRNA by RT-PCR. Furthermore, these clones also had increased levels of MHC class II protein (I-Ab), which correlated with increased levels of one subunit of class II mRNA by RT-PCR. IRF-1-expressing clones had markedly diminished cell growth in vitro and decreased anchorage-independent growth in a soft agar assay. These clones also demonstrated markedly prolonged tumor latency and slowed growth in syngeneic C57BL/6 mice. IRF-1 gene-transfected cells had shortened tumor latency and formed faster growing tumors in gamma-irradiated immunodeficient mice compared with results in immunocompetent mice. Mice immunized with IRF-1-transfected cells were protected against subsequent challenge with IRF-1 transfected cells and also demonstrated greater tumor latency and slower tumor growth against subsequent challenge with untransfected cells compared with mice immunized with empty vector-transfected cells. These studies demonstrate a tumor suppressor effect of IRF-1, which acts in vivo through both partial reversion of the malignant phenotype and enhanced immune recognition and may play a role in the antitumor effects of IFN-gamma.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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