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J Natl Cancer Inst. 1989 Jan 4;81(1):36-42.

Expression and release of interleukin-1 by different human melanoma cell lines.

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Department of Dermatology II, University of Vienna, Austria.


The influence of immunologic parameters on the clinical course of malignant melanoma is increasingly evident. However, it is not known which factors contribute to the immunologic host reaction against malignant melanoma. Because epidermal cells and, in particular, normal as well as transformed keratinocytes recently have been demonstrated to release various immunomodulating cytokines, the capacity of melanoma cells to produce interleukin-1 (IL-1) was examined. Accordingly, supernatants derived from different melanoma cell lines contained significant levels of IL-1 activity. Upon high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) gel filtration, melanoma cell-derived IL-1 (MEL-IL-1) exhibited molecular weight heterogeneity, and HPLC chromatofocusing revealed major activity at pH 5.0 and minor activity at pH 7.0. A monoclonal antibody directed against monocyte-derived IL-1 blocked MEL-IL-1 activity significantly and was able to precipitate four species of biosynthetically radiolabeled MEL-IL-1 (25, 17, 6, and 4 kilodaltons), suggesting that MEL-IL-1 is identical to monocyte-derived IL-1. This was also confirmed by Northern blot analysis detecting IL-1 alpha specific mRNA in melanoma cells by hybridization with a cDNA fragment encoding for IL-1 alpha. Thus, melanoma cells, like other epidermal cells, exhibit the capacity to release the immunomodulating cytokine IL-1 and, therefore, probably have the potency to influence host defense mechanisms directed against malignant melanoma.

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