Send to

Choose Destination
Hepatology. 2017 Jul;66(1):152-166. doi: 10.1002/hep.29156. Epub 2017 May 26.

Hepatic IFIT3 predicts interferon-α therapeutic response in patients of hepatocellular carcinoma.

Author information

Department of Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China.
Department of Immunology & Center for Immunotherapy, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Peking Union Medical College, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China.
National Key Laboratory of Medical Immunology & Institute of Immunology, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China.
Liver Cancer Institute and Zhongshan Hospital, Institutes of Biomedical Science, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.
Departments of Pathology and Surgery, State Key Laboratory for Liver Research, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.
Third Department of Hepatic Surgery, Eastern Hepatobiliary Surgery Hospital, Shanghai, China.
Department of Organ Transplantation, Shanghai Changzheng Hospital, Shanghai, China.


Adjuvant interferon-α (IFN-α) therapy is used to control certain types of cancer in clinics. For hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), IFN-α therapy is effective in only a subgroup of patients; therefore, identifying biomarkers to predict the response to IFN-α therapy is of high significance and clinical utility. As the induced IFN-stimulated gene expression following IFN-α treatment plays pivotal roles in IFN-α effects, we screened IFN-stimulated gene expression in HCC tissues and found that several IFN-stimulated genes were significantly decreased in HCC. Interestingly, expression of IFN-induced protein with tetratricopeptide repeats (IFIT) family members, including IFIT1, IFIT2, IFIT3, and IFIT5, was decreased in HCC tissues. We further analyzed the expression of IFIT family members in HCC and their roles in patients' responses to IFN-α therapy in two independent randomized controlled IFN-α therapy clinical trials of HCC patients. We found that higher expression of IFIT3, but not other IFITs, in HCC tissues predicts better response to IFN-α therapy, suggesting that IFIT3 may be a useful predictor of the response to IFN-α therapy in HCC patients. Mechanistically, IFIT3 enhanced the antitumor effects of IFN-α by promoting IFN-α effector responses both in vitro and in vivo. IFIT3 could bind signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1) and STAT2 to enhance STAT1-STAT2 heterodimerization and nuclear translocation upon IFN-α treatment, thus promoting IFN-α effector signaling.


Higher IFIT3 expression in HCC tissues predicts better response to IFN-α therapy in HCC patients; IFIT3 promotes IFN-α effector responses and therapeutic effects by strengthening IFN-α effector signaling in HCC. (Hepatology 2017;66:152-166).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center