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Cancer Res. 2007 Jun 15;67(12):5594-9.

Membrane-bound interleukin (IL)-15 on renal tumor cells rescues natural killer cells from IL-2 starvation-induced apoptosis.

Author information

1
Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U753, France.

Abstract

Renal cell carcinoma primary tumors and lung metastases are infiltrated by activated natural killer (NK) cells. Interleukin (IL)-15, a major cytokine involved in cross-talk between accessory cells (dendritic cells and macrophages) and NK cells, is produced by epithelial renal cells. We show that renal cell carcinoma cells and normal renal cells express IL-15 mRNA and membrane-bound IL-15 (MbIL-15). These cells also express IL-15 receptor alpha (IL-15Ralpha). Silencing of IL-15Ralpha by specific small interfering RNA in renal cell carcinoma had no effect on MbIL-15 production, indicating that the cytokine is not cross-presented by IL-15Ralpha in renal cell carcinoma cells but anchored to the membrane. Furthermore, we show that MbIL-15 from renal cell carcinoma cells is functional and involved in rapid nuclear translocation of phosphorylated signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 in IL-2-starved NK cells. MbIL-15 on the target did not interfere with resting NK cell activation and target cell cytolysis but rescued NK cells from IL-2 starvation-induced apoptosis through contact-dependent interaction. Masking of MbIL-15 with soluble IL-15Ralpha molecules restored NK cell apoptosis. These findings suggest that IL-15 produced by renal tumor cells is involved in the maintenance of active NK cells at the tumor site.

PMID:
17575122
DOI:
10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-06-4406
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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