Induction of apoptotic cell death in non-melanoma skin cancer by interferon-α

Authors

  • Julio Rodríguez-Villanueva,

    1. Department of Molecular Pathology, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 77030, USA
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  • Timothy J. McDonnell

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Molecular Pathology, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 77030, USA
    • Department of Molecular Pathology, Box 89, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd., Houston, TX 77030, USA. Fax: (713) 794–1395
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Abstract

Interferon-α (IFN-α) is a cytokine that is effective in the treatment of a variety of cancers, including non-melanoma skin cancers. The biologic responses of cells to IFN-α are pleiotropic and include growth suppression and immunomodulation. The potential direct effects of IFN-α on tumor cell populations are incompletely characterized. Our findings indicate that IFN-α can directly induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) in sensitive squamous cell skin cancer cell lines. Cell lines resistant to the cytotoxic effects of IFN-α showed no evidence of apoptosis induction. Transfection of IFN-α-sensitive cell lines with a bcl-2 expression vector conferred partial resistance to cell death induction by IFN-α Our results indicate that the clinical efficacy of IFN-α may, in part, be related to the ability of this cytokine to induce apoptosis. © 1995 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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