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Anticancer Res. 1996 Jan-Feb;16(1):369-74.

Interaction of retinoic acid and interferon-alpha in breast cancer cell lines.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Innsbruck University Hospital, Austria.


Retinoids and Interferons have been demonstrated to synergistically amplify the inhibition of proliferation in cultured breast cancer cells. Recently we reported that interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) modulates the action of retinoic acid (RA): IFN-gamma increased expression of retinoic acid receptor-gamma (RAR-gamma) and suppressed the increase of retinoic acid binding protein type II (CRABP-II) expression. To improve the understanding of mechanism mediating synergism we extended our studies to the type I interferon-alpha. Synergistic inhibition of proliferation could be detected also by IFN-alpha and RA in BT-20 and SKBR-3 breast cancer cell lines but not in MCF-7 cells. Neither IFN-alpha nor any retinoid tested alone were able to increase RAR-gamma message, only the combination of both had this ability. In MCF-7 breast cancer cell lines the combination of any retinoid with IFN-alpha increased CRABP II expression level compared with the retinoids alone. In contrast with SKBR-3 and BT-20 cells a combination of ATRA with IFN-alpha markedly reduced ATRA mediated CRABP II induction. These results suggest that two factors may be responsible for synergistic action of RA and IFN-alpha: the inhibition of the CRABP II expression and an IFN-alpha/RA mediated upregulation of RAR-gamma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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