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Breast Cancer Res Treat. 1991 Mar;18(1):33-41.

Interferon-alpha and gamma mediated gene responses in a human breast carcinoma cell line.

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Breast Cancer Research Laboratory, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10021.


Interferons (IFNs) have been known to possess an antiproliferative effect on tumor cells besides their well characterized antiviral effect in cell cultures. The mechanism of action of the different IFNs is not fully understood, but in recent years a number of IFN-inducible genes, the presumed mediators of IFN action, have been identified. In the present study we examined the antiproliferative effect of IFN-alpha and IFN-gamma on human breast cancer cells (MCF-7) using (i) the MTT dye formation assay and (ii) anchorage-independent (AI) growth in soft agar. Both IFN-alpha and IFN-gamma were found to have an antiproliferative effect on the growth of MCF-7 cells. In addition, the kinetics of induction of a number of IFN-inducible genes was also examined. The expression of these genes was measured by mRNA analyses using specific [alpha-32P]-labeled cDNAs as probes. The induction of these genes by IFN-alpha and IFN-gamma is a primary effect of IFN, as de novo protein synthesis is not required for their induction. Our results on the kinetics of induction of these genes by IFN-alpha and IFN-gamma suggests a complex mechanism of ligand-dependent gene activation in this cell line with some similar and dissimilar pathways.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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