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J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2005 Oct;25(10):587-94.

Interferon regulatory factor 1 (IRF-1) and IRF-2 expression in breast cancer tissue microarrays.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0654, USA.


Interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) is a pleiotropic cytokine with potent antitumor effects, both in vitro and in vivo. The antitumor activity of IFN-gamma is mediated in part through IFN regulatory factor-1 (IRF-1) and may be blocked by IRF-2. To test our hypothesis that some tumors escape the antitumor effects of IFN-gamma by cellular changes reflected in IRF-1 and IRF-2 expression, we examined IRF-1 and IRF-2 expression in tissue microarrays (TMA) containing 187 specimens of clinically defined invasive breast carcinoma. TMAs (Cooperative Breast Cancer Tissue Resource [CBCTR], National Cancer Institute [NCI]) were stained and then scored by three evaluators blinded to the patients' clinical status. After final scoring, the CBCTR provided the available clinical data for each patient. Whether sorted by carcinoma type or for all data together, statistical analysis showed a significant positive correlation between IRF-1 and IRF-2 expression (p = 0.01) and a negative correlation between IRF-1 expression and tumor grade (p = 0.005). IRF-1 expression is consistent with its role as a tumor suppressor; high-grade breast carcinomas were less likely to maintain expression of IRF-1, a finding consistent with a role for IRF-1 as a tumor suppressor. Further, tumors maintained expression of IRF-2 if there was coincident expression of IRF-1. These data support a model in which alterations of the expression of intracellular effectors of IFN-gamma signaling may diminish the immune-mediated tumor control mechanisms of IFN-gamma.

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