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A Possible Anticancer Agent, Type III Interferon, Activates Cell Death Pathways and Produces Antitumor Effects

By Masatoshi Tagawa, Kiyoko Kawamura, Quanhai Li, Yuji Tada, Kenzo Hiroshima and Hideaki Shimada


Recently identified interleukin-28 and -29 belong to a novel type III interferon (IFN) family, which could have distinct biological properties from type I and II IFNs. Type I IFNs, IFN-α/β, have been clinically applied for treating a certain kind of malignancies for over 30 years, but a wide range of the adverse effects hampered the further clinical applications. Type III IFNs, IFN-λs, have similar signaling pathways as IFN-α/β and inhibits proliferation of tumor cells through cell cycle arrest or apoptosis. Restricted patterns of type III IFN receptor expression in contrast to ubiquitously expressed IFN-α/β receptors suggest that type III IFNs have limited cytotoxicity to normal cells and can be a possible anticancer agent. In this paper, we summarize the current knowledge on the IFN-λs-mediated tumor cell death and discuss the functional difference between type I and III IFNs

Topics: Immunologic diseases. Allergy, RC581-607
Publisher: Hindawi Limited
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1155/2011/479013
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