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Mol Cell Biol. 1987 Jun;7(6):2196-200.

Interferon-induced revertants of ras-transformed cells: resistance to transformation by specific oncogenes and retransformation by 5-azacytidine.


Prolonged alpha/beta interferon (IFN-alpha/beta) treatment of NIH 3T3 cells transformed by a long terminal repeat-activated Ha-ras proto-oncogene resulted in revertants that maintained a nontransformed phenotype long after IFN treatment had been discontinued. Cloned persistent revertants (PRs) produced large amounts of the ras-encoded p21 and were refractile to transformation by EJras DNA and by transforming retroviruses which carried the v-Ha-ras, v-Ki-ras, v-abl, or v-fes oncogene. Transient treatment either in vitro or in vivo with cytidine analogs that alter gene expression by inhibiting DNA methylation resulted in transformation of PR, but not of NIH 3T3, cells. The PR retransformants reverted again with IFN, suggesting that DNA methylation is involved in IFN-induced persistent reversion.

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