Gene Summary

Gene:IL18; interleukin 18
Aliases: IGIF, IL-18, IL-1g, IL1F4
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a proinflammatory cytokine that augments natural killer cell activity in spleen cells, and stimulates interferon gamma production in T-helper type I cells. Alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been found for this gene.[provided by RefSeq, Aug 2011]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Source:NCBIAccessed: 09 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 10 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • T-Lymphocytes
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Turkey
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic
  • Interleukin-12
  • Risk Factors
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Thinness
  • Gene Expression
  • Apoptosis
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Stomach Ulcer
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Interleukins
  • Small Cell Lung Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Inflammation
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Promoter Regions
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Melanoma
  • Polymorphism
  • Haplotypes
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Genotype
  • U937 Cells
  • Interleukin-18
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Transcription
  • Skin Cancer
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Messenger RNA
  • Alleles
  • Chromosome 11
Tag cloud generated 09 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (6)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: IL18 (cancer-related)

Gan WY, Li HM, Zhang YG, et al.
Association between IL18-607C/A and -137G/C polymorphisms and susceptibility to non-small cell lung cancer in a Chinese population.
Genet Mol Res. 2016; 15(4) [PubMed] Related Publications
Lung cancer is one of the main causes of cancer-related mortality in males and females worldwide. A pleiotropic effect has been observed in the interleukin 18 gene (IL18); its effects include the activation of natural killer cell cytotoxicity and the promotion of the Th1 immune response through the alteration of the expression of interferon-γ and TNF-α in humans. IL18 is therefore involved in the elimination of tumor cells in the human body. We recruited 357 patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and 414 controls to evaluate the correlation between two genetic variations (IL18-607C/A and IL18-137G/C) and the pathogenesis of NSCLC. We used polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism to genotype IL18-607C/A and IL18-137G/C. Statistical analysis revealed that individuals harboring the AA genotype of IL18-607C/A had an increased risk of NSCLC compared to those harboring the CC genotype (OR = 2.20, 95%CI = 1.30-3.74). Individuals expressing the A allele of IL18-607C/A had an elevated risk of developing NSCLC compared to those expressing the C allele (OR = 1.31, 95%CI = 1.06-1.62). In summary, our analysis shows that the IL18-607C/A genetic variation is related to the risk of NSCLC, whereas the IL18-137G/C variation is not. Therefore, the IL18-607C/A variation is related to the pathogenesis of NSCLC in the Chinese population studied.

Zhang L, Hong Z, Zhang RR, et al.
Bakkenolide A inhibits leukemia by regulation of HDAC3 and PI3K/Akt-related signaling pathways.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2016; 83:958-966 [PubMed] Related Publications
Leukemia has been the third type of cancer killing many people across the world. Bakkenolide A (Bak), extracted from Petasites tricholobus, has been suggested to against cancer and display protective effects on inflammatory cytokines formation. And increasing evidences suggest that histone deacetylase 3 (HDAC3) plays vital roles in cancer formation and persistence via cell death, apoptosis and inflammation. But the function of Bakkenolide A in regulating leukemia is not understood yet, particularly via HDAC3. Here, we found that HDAC3 is up-regulated in clinical samples of leukemia compared with adjacent normal tissues. Then the expression of HDAC3 was knocked down via RNA interference in K562 cells. And inhibition of HDAC3 expression is able to improve leukemia invasion, migration and proliferation. Further, we also found HDAC3 bound to IκBα, affecting subsequent inflammation response. Moreover, Bakkenolide A was found to inhibit inflammation, induce apoptosis and cell death in leukemia cells via PI3K-regulated signaling pathway, down-regulating IKKs expression and suppressing in proinflammatory cytokines of IL-1β, IL-18 and TNF-α. Up-regulation of Caspase3/7 was observed in cells of HDAC3-knockdown and Bakkenolide A treatment, inducing leukemia cell apoptosis. Also, the expression of Akt and GSK were activated by HDAC3-knockdown and Bakkenolide A-treatment. Thus, these results indicated that Bakkenolide A-mediated HDAC3 sensitization in leukemia cells seem to be associated with activation of effector IKKs, Akt/GSK, and caspases through induction of the PI3K pathway, leading to inflammation, cell death, and apoptosis.

Shimabukuro M, Sato H, Izaki H, et al.
Depot- and gender-specific expression of NLRP3 inflammasome and toll-like receptors in adipose tissue of cancer patients.
Biofactors. 2016; 42(4):397-406 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gender difference in obesity-associated cardiovascular complication could be derived from divergent chronic inflammation. We evaluated depot- and gender-specific regulation of the innate immune system in human adipose tissues. Pair samples were obtained from subcutaneous (SAT) and visceral adipose tissue (VAT) during elective surgery (Male: 35; Female: 27). Expressions of pro- and anti-inflammatory adipocytokines were evaluated by semi-quantitative qPCR. Adipose cell-size distribution was obtained from tissue samples fixed in osmium tetroxide and analyzed by Beckman Coulter Multisizer. Levels of adiponectin were higher in SAT and VAT of female than those of male (P < 0.001 and P = 0.011, respectively). NLRP3, IL1β-IL18, TLR2 were comparable in SAT and VAT between genders. However, TLR4 and TLR9 were increased in female SAT and VAT and HMGB1 in female VAT. Levels of adiponectin were not correlated with mean diameter of adipocyte (φ, μm) in SAT and VAT of male, but negatively well correlated in those of female (r = -0.392 and r = -0.616). Such negative correlations were also observed between levels of TLR2, TLR4, and HMGB1 and φ in female. Levels of NLRP3 and IL1β were positively correlated with φ in male, but not in female. In conclusion, Innate signals were differentially expressed in male and female adipose tissues, suggesting that the depot- and gender-specific signals could be related to gender difference in chronic inflammation. © 2016 BioFactors, 42(4):397-406, 2016.

Hsiao LT, Wang HY, Yang CF, et al.
Human Cytokine Genetic Variants Associated With HBsAg Reverse Seroconversion in Rituximab-Treated Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Patients.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2016; 95(11):e3064 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation has been noted in HBV surface antigen (HBsAg)-seronegative patients with CD20 B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) undergoing rituximab treatment. Clinically, hepatitis flares are usually associated with the reappearance of HBsAg (reverse seroconversion of HBsAg, HBV-RS). It is unclear whether human genetic factors are related to rituximab-associated HBV reactivation. Unvaccinated HBsAg-seronegative adults (n = 104) with CD20 NHL who had received rituximab-containing therapy without anti-HBV prophylaxis were enrolled. Eighty-nine candidate single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of 49 human cytokine genes were chosen and were analyzed using the iPLEX technique. Competing risk regression was used to identify the factors associated with HBV-RS. Participants had a median age of 66.1 years and 56.7% were male (n = 59). The anti-HBs and anti-HBc positivity rates were 82.4% and 94.1%, respectively, among patients for whom data were available (approximately 81%). A mean of 7.14 cycles of rituximab therapy were administered, and a total of 14 (13.4%) patients developed HBV-RS. Nine SNPs showed significant differences in frequency between patients with or without HBV-RS: CD40 rs1883832, IL4 rs2243248 and rs2243263, IL13 rs1295686, IL18 rs243908, IL20 rs1518108, and TNFSF13B rs12428930 and rs12583006. Multivariate analysis showed that ≥6 cycles of rituximab therapy, IL18 rs243908, and the IL4 haplotype rs2243248∼rs2243263 were independently associated with HBV-RS. The IL4 haplotype rs2243248∼rs2243263 was significantly associated with HBV-RS regardless of anti-HBs status. Polymorphisms in human cytokine genes impact the risk of rituximab-associated HBV-RS.

Wang Y, Kong H, Zeng X, et al.
Activation of NLRP3 inflammasome enhances the proliferation and migration of A549 lung cancer cells.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 35(4):2053-64 [PubMed] Related Publications
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death, and it is widely accepted that chronic inflammation is an important risk for the development of lung cancer. Now, it is recognized that the nucleotide-binding and oligomerization domain (NOD) like receptors (NLRs)-containing inflammasomes are involved in cancer-related inflammation. This study was designed to investigate the effects of NLR family pyrin domain containing protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome on the proliferation and migration of lung adenocarcinoma cell line A549. Using 5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine (EdU) incorporation assay, scratch assay, and Transwell migration assay, we showed that activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome by LPS+ATP enhanced the proliferation and migration of A549 cells. Western blot analysis showed that activation of phosphorylation of Akt, ERK1/2, CREB and the expression of Snail increased, while the expression of E-cadherin decreased after the activation of NLRP3 inflammasome. Moreover, these effects were inhibited by the following treatments: i) downregulating the expression of NLRP3 by short hairpin RNA (shRNA) interference, ii) inhibiting the activation of NLRP3 inflammasome with a caspase-1 inhibitor, iii) blocking the interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and IL-18 signal transduction with IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) and IL-18 binding protein (IL-18BP). Collectively, these results indicate that NLRP3 inflammasome plays a vital role in regulating the proliferation and migration of A549 cells and it might be a potential target for the treatment of lung cancer.

Yao J, Li ZH, Li YX, et al.
Association between the -607 C > A polymorphism in interleukin-18 gene promoter with gastrointestinal cancer risk: a meta-analysis.
Genet Mol Res. 2015; 14(4):16880-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
The interleukin-18 (IL-18) gene -607 C/A polymorphism has been reported to be associated with gastrointestinal cancer, but there are conflicting results from previous studies on said topic. Therefore, the aim of this meta-analysis is to derive a more precise estimation of the association between the -607 C/A polymorphism in the IL-18 gene and gastrointestinal cancer risk. Literature searches of PubMed, Google Scholar, and Web of Science databases were carried out in 2015. Five studies were assessed with a total of 1618 cases and 1155 healthy controls. When results from all eligible studies were pooled into the meta-analysis, we found significant association between the IL-18 gene -607 C/A polymorphism and gastrointestinal cancer risk (CC vs AA: OR = 0.93, 95%CI = 0.72- 1.20; CC vs CA: OR = 0.76, 95%CI = 0.62-0.92; dominant model: OR = 1.25, 95%CI = 1.03-1.50; recessive model: OR = 1.09, 95%CI = 0.87-1.37). In the subgroup analysis, significant associations between the -607 C/A polymorphism and gastrointestinal cancer risk were found in esophageal cancer. However, this polymorphism did not appear to have any influence on gastric cancer and colorectal cancer susceptibility. In conclusion, this meta-analysis suggests that the -607 C/A polymorphism in the IL-18 gene may be associated with susceptibility to esophageal cancer. Further studies with large sample sizes are needed to confirm these conclusions.

Muccio L, Bertaina A, Falco M, et al.
Analysis of memory-like natural killer cells in human cytomegalovirus-infected children undergoing αβ+T and B cell-depleted hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for hematological malignancies.
Haematologica. 2016; 101(3):371-81 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We analyzed the impact of human cytomegalovirus infection on the development of natural killer cells in 27 pediatric patients affected by hematological malignancies, who had received a HLA-haploidentical hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, depleted of both α/β+ T cells and B cells. In line with previous studies in adult recipients of umbilical cord blood transplantation, we found that human cytomegalovirus reactivation accelerated the emergence of mature natural killer cells. Thus, most children displayed a progressive expansion of a memory-like natural killer cell subset expressing NKG2C, a putative receptor for human cytomegalovirus, and CD57, a marker of terminal natural killer cell differentiation. NKG2C(+)CD57(+) natural killer cells were detectable by month 3 following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and expanded until at least month 12. These cells were characterized by high killer Ig-like receptors (KIRs) and leukocyte inhibitory receptor 1 (LIR-1) and low Siglec-7, NKG2A and Interleukin-18Rα expression, killed tumor targets and responded to cells expressing HLA-E (a NKG2C ligand). In addition, they were poor Interferon-γ producers in response to Interleukin-12 and Interleukin-18. The impaired response to these cytokines, together with their highly differentiated profile, may reflect their skewing toward an adaptive condition specialized in controlling human cytomegalovirus. In conclusion, in pediatric patients receiving a type of allograft different from umbilical cord blood transplantation, human cytomegalovirus also induced memory-like natural killer cells, possibly contributing to controlling infections and reinforcing anti-leukemia effects.

Carbotti G, Barisione G, Airoldi I, et al.
IL-27 induces the expression of IDO and PD-L1 in human cancer cells.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(41):43267-80 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
IL-27 is a member of the IL-12 family that is produced by macrophages and dendritic cells. IL-27 inhibits the growth and invasiveness of different cancers and therefore represents a potential anti-tumor agent. By contrast, it may exert immune-regulatory properties in different biological systems. We reported that IL-27 induces the expression of the IL-18 inhibitor IL-18BP, in human Epithelial Ovarian Cancer (EOC) cells, thus potentially limiting the immune response. Here, we tested whether IL-27 may modulate other immune-regulatory molecules involved in EOC progression, including Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) and Programmed Death-Ligand (PD-L)1. IDO and PD-L1 were not constitutively expressed by EOC cells in vitro, but IL-27 increased their expression through STAT1 and STAT3 tyrosine phosphorylation. Differently, cells isolated from EOC ascites showed constitutive activation of STAT1 and STAT3 and IDO expression. These findings, together with the expression of IL-27 in scattered leukocytes in EOC ascites and tissues, suggest a potential role of IL-27 in immune-regulatory networks of EOC. In addition, IL-27 induced IDO or PD-L1 expression in monocytes and in human PC3 prostate and A549 lung cancer cells. A current paradigm in tumor immunology is that tumor cells may escape from immune control due to "adaptive resistance" mediated by T cell-secreted IFN-γ, which induces PD-L1 and IDO expression in tumor cells. Our present data indicate that also IL-27 has similar activities and suggest that the therapeutic use of IL-27 as anti-cancer agent may have dual effects, in some tumors.

Chung JH, Lee YC, Eun YG, et al.
Single Nucleotide Polymorphism of Interleukin-18 and Interleukin-18 Receptor and the Risk of Papillary Thyroid Cancer.
Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2015; 123(10):598-603 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Growing evidence suggests that interleukin-18 (IL-18) levels may affect neoplasia and that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within IL-18 gene may influence its production. In this study, we evaluated whether IL-18 and IL-18 receptor (IL-18R) polymorphisms are associated with the development and clinicopathological features of papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Using direct sequencing, we investigated the association between functional polymorphisms of IL-18 and IL-18R genes and susceptibility to PTC in 94 PTC patients and 260 healthy controls. Genetic data were analyzed using commercially available software. Multiple logistic regression models were used to calculate odds ratios, 95% confidence intervals, and P-values for the association between the genotypes and risk of PTC. The PTC patients were further subgrouped and compared with respect to their clinicopathological characteristics.
RESULTS: 3 SNPs of IL-18 (rs549908, rs360717, and rs187238) and one of IL-18R (rs1420106) examined in this study were significantly associated with the development of PTC. The allelic frequencies of the 3 SNPs of IL-18 also showed significant association with lymph node metastasis.
CONCLUSION: IL-18 and IL-18R polymorphisms may contribute to the development and lymph node metastasis of PTC.

Li X, Liu C, Ip BC, et al.
Tumor progression locus 2 ablation suppressed hepatocellular carcinoma development by inhibiting hepatic inflammation and steatosis in mice.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2015; 34:138 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Tumor progression locus 2 (TPL2), a serine-threonine kinase, functions as a critical regulator of inflammatory pathways and mediates oncogenic events. The potential role of Tpl2 in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) associated hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development remains unknown.
METHODS: Both wild-type and Tpl2 knockout male mice were initiated by a hepatic carcinogen (diethylnitrosamine, i.p. with a single dose of 25 2 weeks of age, and then were given the high carbohydrate diet feeding to induce hepatic steatosis, inflammation, adenoma and HCC for 24 weeks.
RESULTS: Tpl2 knockout mice had significantly lower incidences of liver tumor and developed hepatocellular adenoma only, which is contrast to wild-type mice where they all developed HCC. Tpl2 knockout mice had significantly down-regulated phosphorylation of JNK and ERK, and levels of mRNA expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines (Il-1β, Il-18, Mcp-1 and Nalp3), which correlated with the reduced incidence and number of hepatic inflammatory foci. Furthermore, Tpl2 ablation resulted in decreased hepatic steatosis and expression of de novo lipogenesis related markers (ACC, SCD1, SREBP1C and AKT phosphorylation), as well as reduction of endoplasmic reticulum stress biomarkers PERK and eIF-2a.
CONCLUSION: The study revealed for the first time that Tpl2 plays a significant role in promoting HCC development by its pro-inflammatory effect, which suggested that Tpl2 could be a molecular target for HCC prevention.

Liu XC, Lian W, Zhang LJ, et al.
Interleukin-18 Down-Regulates Multidrug Resistance-Associated Protein 2 Expression through Farnesoid X Receptor Associated with Nuclear Factor Kappa B and Yin Yang 1 in Human Hepatoma HepG2 Cells.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(8):e0136215 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Multidrug resistance-associated protein 2 (MRP2) plays an important role in bile acid metabolism by transporting toxic organic anion conjugates, including conjugated bilirubin, glutathione, sulfate, and multifarious drugs. MRP2 expression is reduced in cholestatic patients and rodents. However, the molecular mechanism of MRP2 down-regulation remains elusive. In this report, we treated human hepatoma HepG2 cells with interleukin-18 (IL-18) and measured the expression of MRP2, nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB), farnesoid X receptor (FXR), and the transcription factor Yin Yang 1 (YY1) by quantitative real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and western blotting. We found that expression of MRP2 was repressed by IL-18 at both the mRNA and protein levels in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Furthermore, the activated NF-κB pathway increased YY1 and reduced FXR. These changes were all attenuated in HepG2 cells with knockdown of the NF-κB subunit, p65. The reduced expression of FXR and MRP2 in HepG2 cells that had been caused by IL-18 treatment was also attenuated by YY1 knockdown. We further observed significantly elevated IL-18, NF-κB, and YY1 expression and decreased FXR and MRP2 expression in bile duct-ligated Sprague Dawley rat livers. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays also showed that FXR bound to the promoter region in MRP2 was less abundant in liver extracts from bile duct-ligated rats than sham-operated rats. Our findings indicate that IL-18 down-regulates MRP2 expression through the nuclear receptor FXR in HepG2 cells, and may be mediated by NF-κB and YY1.

Dwivedi S, Goel A, Mandhani A, et al.
Functional genetic variability at promoters of pro-(IL-18) and anti-(IL-10) inflammatory affects their mRNA expression and survival in prostate carcinoma patients: Five year follow-up study.
Prostate. 2015; 75(15):1737-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Inflammation is an important hallmark of all cancers. The net inflammatory response is determined by a delicate balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, which, in turn, is determined by the genetic make-up. The present study investigates the role of variations in the promoter regions of IL-18 and IL-10 (anti-inflammatory) cytokines on mRNA expressions and survival in prostate cancer (PCa) patients.
METHODS: The study was conducted on 584 volunteer males (291 patients of PCa, between 40-80 years of age. Genetic variants were studied by using RFLP and confirmed by probe based method. Expressions of mRNA were evaluated by real-time PCR (Roche light cycler 480). Relative mRNA and fold change gene expressions were analyzed by ([1/2] (ΔCt) ) and (2(-ΔΔCt) ) methods, respectively, and 5 year follow-ups were evaluated by Log-rank (Mantel-Cox) test with Log-rank test for trends.
RESULTS: IL-18 mRNA expression was significantly elevated in GG genotypes (at -137) of PCa with relative mRNA expression of 13.95, that is, 8.48 folds higher (P < 0.05) than controls; and showed a significant median survival of 1243 days. The CC genotypes of IL-10 at both loci (-819 T/C and -592C/A) showed 3.63 and 3.52 higher relative mRNA expressions than controls, but poor survival of 984 and 1052 days than TT of 1359 days and AA of 1371 days.
CONCLUSIONS: Genetic variants of pro-inflammatory IL-18 which showed higher relative mRNA expressions have better survival. Genetic variants of anti-inflammatory IL-10 with higher relative mRNA expression showed decreased chances of survival.

Xu G, Guo Y, Seng Z, et al.
Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells co-expressing interleukin-18 and interferon-β exhibit potent antitumor effect against intracranial glioma in rats.
Oncol Rep. 2015; 34(4):1915-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) are promising gene vehicles for cancer gene therapy. In our previous study, we reported that BMSCs expressing interleukin (IL)-18 effectively inhibit the growth of glioma in rats. In the present study, we further detected the effect of BMSCs co-expressing IL-18 and interferon (IFN)-β, both of which are immunostimulatory cytokines. BMSCs were genetically engineered to express IL-18 and IFN-β by transfection of recombinant lentivirus-mediated gene transfer. Results showed that BMSCs co-expressing the two cytokines displayed more significant inhibition effect on glioma cell growth in vitro when compared with BMSCs solely expressing IL-18 or IFN-β. Treatment of BMSCs co-expressing IL-18 and IFN-β significantly prolonged the survival and inhibited tumor growth in a rat intracranial glioma model. Furthermore, these genetically engineered BMSCs remarkably promoted cell apoptosis, antitumor cytokine production and CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell infiltration in intracranial glioma tissues than BMSCs solely expressing IL-18 or IFN-β. Results of the present study suggested that IL-18 and IFN-β had a synergistic effect on glioma inhibition. Moreover, results provided evidence that delivery of IL-18 and IFN-β by BMSCs may be an excellent and promising approach to develop an effective treatment protocol for glioma therapy.

Gatault S, Delbeke M, Driss V, et al.
IL-18 Is Involved in Eosinophil-Mediated Tumoricidal Activity against a Colon Carcinoma Cell Line by Upregulating LFA-1 and ICAM-1.
J Immunol. 2015; 195(5):2483-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
Eosinophils are multifunctional leukocytes that are involved in innate and adaptive immune responses through the expression of various receptors and mediators. Previously, we showed that human eosinophils and T cells shared cytotoxic activities against tumor cells that involved the γ-δ TCR and cell-cell contact. In this study, we investigated the molecules involved in eosinophil-tumor cell interactions. Given the role of IL-18 in cell adhesion and in protecting against colon cancer, we evaluated its role in eosinophil-mediated cytotoxicity against Colo-205, a human colon carcinoma cell line. We found that human eosinophils exerted dose- and time-dependent tumoricidal activity against Colo-205 cells. Neutralization of IL-18 significantly reduced eosinophil-mediated Colo-205 apoptosis and inhibited cell-cell adhesion. Moreover, addition of rIL-18 led to upregulation of CD11a and ICAM-1 adhesion molecules, which were involved in the contact between eosinophils and Colo-205 cells. Our results indicated that IL-18 was involved in the eosinophil-mediated death of Colo-205 by facilitating contact between effector and target cells. These data underscored the involvement of an additional mediator in eosinophil-mediated antitumor cytotoxicity. Our findings support existing evidence that eosinophils could play a beneficial role in the context of colon cancer.

Li X, Ren D, Li Y, et al.
Increased cancer risk associated with the -607C/A polymorphism in interleukin-18 gene promoter: an updated meta-analysis including 12,502 subjects.
J BUON. 2015 May-Jun; 20(3):902-17 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Increasing investigations have been performed on the association of -607C/A polymorphism in Interleukin-18 (IL-18) gene promoter with cancer risk and have yielded conflicting results. To derive a more precise estimation of the association, we performed an updated meta-analysis of all eligible studies.
METHODS: We searched all eligible studies by using PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE, and China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) databases. The odds ratios (ORs) were pooled by the fixed-effects/random-effects model in STATA 12.0 software.
RESULTS: This meta-analysis included 29 studies with 6,026 cases and 6,476 controls. Overall, significantly increased cancer risk was observed (A vs C: OR=1.10, 95% CI: 1.01,1.19, Pheterogeneity=0.001; AA vs CC: OR=1.17, 95% CI: 1.01,1.37, Pheterogeneity=0.007; CA vs CC: OR=1.15, 95% CI: 1.05,1.25, Pheterogeneity=0.152; AA/CA vs CC: OR=1.17, 95% CI: 1.06,1.31, Pheterogeneity=0.042). In subgroup analyses based on ethnicity, the results suggested a significantly increased risk of cancer in Asian population (CA vs CC: OR=1.11, 95% CI: 1.00-1.24, Pheterogeneity=0.353; AA/CA vs CC: OR=1.14, 95% CI: 1.02-1.29, Pheterogeneity=0.081) and in Mixed population (A vs C: OR=1.72, 95% CI: 1.22-2.43, Pheterogeneity=NA; AA vs CC: OR=2.84, 95% CI: 1.43-5.64, Pheterogeneity=NA; AA vs CC/CA: OR=2.43, 95% CI: 1.34-4.42, Pheterogeneity=NA; AA/CA vs CC: OR=1.69, 95% CI: 1.00-2.85, Pheterogeneity=NA); however, no significant association was found in Caucasian or African populations. In the subgroup analysis by cancer type we found a significantly increased susceptibility to breast cancer (A vs C: OR=1.33, 95% CI: 1.00-1.75,Pheterogeneity=0.155; AA vs CC: OR=1.80, 95% CI: 1.02-3.21,Pheterogeneity=0.162; AA7sol;CA vs CC: OR=1.33, 95% CI: 1.00-1.78,Pheterogeneity=0.546), nasopharyngeal carcinoma (A vs C: OR=1.16, 95% CI: 1.01-1.32, Pheterogeneity=0.921; AA vs CC: OR=1.34, 95% CI: 1.02-1.75, Pheterogeneity=0.863; CA vs. CC: OR=1.36, 95% CI: 1.08-1.70, Pheterogeneity=0.824; AA/CA vs CC: OR=1.35, 95% CI: 1.09-1.68,Pheterogeneity=0.904), and esophageal cancer (CA vs CC: OR=1.37, 95% CI: 1.04-1.80, Pheterogeneity=0.528; AA/CA vs CC: OR =1.29, 95% CI: 1.00-1.66, Pheterogeneity=0.700).
CONCLUSIONS: The current meta-analysis suggests that the -607C/A polymorphism in IL-18 gene promoter is associated with a significantly increased risk of cancer, especially of breast cancer, nasopharyngeal carcinoma and esophageal cancer and in Asian and Mixed populations. More studies with diverse ethnic groups, larger sample size, and well controlled confounding factors are warranted to further investigate the association.

Li Y, Li N, Yan Z, et al.
Dysregulation of the NLRP3 inflammasome complex and related cytokines in patients with multiple myeloma.
Hematology. 2016; 21(3):144-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The NLRP3 inflammasome complex, an important regulatory factor of inflammation and cell apoptosis, has attracted considerable attention in the development of tumor. Here, we analyzed the expression and clinical significance of NLRP3 inflammasome complex and related cytokines in patients with multiple myeloma (MM).
METHODS: Peripheral blood and bone marrow of 38 newly diagnosed myeloma patients and 25 age- and gender-matched healthy people were studied. NLRP3 and caspase-1 were analyzed using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and Western blot and IL-1beta, IL-18, RANKL, and OPG were evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
RESULTS: We showed that aberrant NLRP3 and caspase-1 expression were observed in MM and down-regulated compared with the healthy people. We further demonstrated that NLRP3 mRNA was negatively correlated with beta2-microglobulin and plasma cell percentage in MM. The downstream cytokines IL-18 and sRANKL/OPG in MM patients were higher than that in control group. Moreover, the lower mRNA levels of NLRP3 and caspase-1 were shown to be positively correlated with IL-1beta in newly diagnosed MM patients.
CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrated that dysregulated expression of NLRP3-caspase-1-IL-1beta axis was observed in patients with MM, suggesting they might be involved in the pathogenesis of MM.

Tavares MC, de Lima Júnior SF, Coelho AV, et al.
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) alpha and interleukin (IL) 18 genes polymorphisms are correlated with susceptibility to HPV infection in patients with and without cervical intraepithelial lesion.
Ann Hum Biol. 2016; 43(3):261-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) predisposes 500 000 women to cervical cancer. Host genetic background may facilitate virus persistence in the uterine cervix. Polymorphisms in regulatory and coding regions of cytokine genes have been associated with susceptibility to some human diseases.
AIM: This study aims at investigating whether TNFA -308 G/A and IL18 -137 G/C and -607 C/A polymorphisms are associated with susceptibility to HPV infection/progression to high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL).
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: One hundred and twenty-two HPV infected and 132 HPV negative women (the latter used as healthy controls) were analysed. TNFA -308 G/A and IL18 (-137G/C and -607 C/A) polymorphisms were analysed using specific sequence polymorphism PCR (SSP-PCR). Univariate statistical analysis and a logistic regression were performed.
RESULTS: The TNFA -308A allele was associated with susceptibility to HPV infection (p = 0.0008), while the IL18 -607A allele conferred protection against HPV infection (p = 0.0043). TNFA -308 G/A and IL18 (-137G/C and -607 C/A) polymorphisms were not associated with development of cervical lesions (p > 0.05). An association was also observed between smoking and susceptibility to the development of HSIL.
CONCLUSION: The findings suggest an association between two TNFA SNPs and susceptibility to HPV infection in women from Northeast Brazil. The results need to be functionally validated and replicated in other populations with different ethnic backgrounds.

Awad F, Georgin-Lavialle S, Brignier A, et al.
Chronic myelomonocytic leukemia as a cause of fatal uncontrolled inflammation in familial Mediterranean fever.
Orphanet J Rare Dis. 2015; 10:76 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We report on a familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) patient homozygous for p.M694V in the MEFV gene who developed chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) leading to an uncontrolled and fatal inflammatory syndrome. Plasma levels of IL-6 and IL-18 were found to be very high, as compared to healthy controls and CMML-free FMF patients.Our study unveils the interplay between two different disorders involving the same target cells, suggesting that in myelodysplasia with inflammatory manifestations, mutations in genes causing autoinflammatory syndromes, like MEFV, can be present and thus could be sought. Early chemotherapy with interleukin inhibitors could be proposed in such unusual situations.

Abdolahi F, Dabbaghmanesh MH, Haghshenas MR, et al.
A gene-disease association study of IL18 in thyroid cancer: genotype and haplotype analyses.
Endocrine. 2015; 50(3):698-707 [PubMed] Related Publications
Thyroid cancer is the most common malignancy of the endocrine system, and genetic factors have been shown to be associated with its risk. Interleukin-18 (IL-18) is a pleiotropic pro-inflammatory cytokine that induces IFN-γ production and is involved in T helper type 1 development. To determine the role of IL-18 gene in thyroid cancer susceptibility, we conducted a case-control study, and genotyped five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in IL-18 gene (-656 G/T (rs1946519), -607 C/A (rs1946518), and -137 G/C (rs187238) in the promoter region and +113 T/G (rs360718) and +127 C/T (rs360717) in 5'-untranslated region) in 105 patients with thyroid cancer and 148 healthy controls from Iranian population. Polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) and allele-specific primer-PCR were used for genotyping. The association of different genotypes with thyroid cancer, tumor type, and the tumor stage was analyzed. Comparing all of the patient population with the controls, TT genotype at position -656 G/T was observed to be associated with a significantly increased risk of thyroid cancer [31/105 (30.1 %) vs 19/148 (13.1 %), p = 0.002, OR 2.90, CI 1.40-5.70]. No association with thyroid cancer was found at other positions (-607 C/A, -137 G/C, +113 T/G, and +127 C/T). Excluding the patients with medullary carcinoma, and including only the ones with thyroid cancer derived from the follicular epithelium, nearly the same results were observed regarding the genotypes at position -656 G/T. Furthermore, significantly decreased risk of thyroid cancer derived from the follicular epithelium was observed upon inheritance of the homozygote genotype (CC) at position +127 C/T (40/94 (42.5 %) versus 84/148 (56.8 %) in patients and controls, respectively (OR 0.56, 95 % CI for OR 0.32-0.98, p = 0.04). Haplotype analysis indicated that among 32 possible haplotypes, TAGTT haplotype frequency was significantly higher in patients than in controls [12/188 (6.4 %) vs 2/292 (0.7 %), p = 0.0008] and this difference resisted Bonferroni correction (n = 19) and significant level set at 0.003. Nearly the same results were observed after excluding the patients with medullary carcinoma. No association was found between the SNPs and the stage of tumor. Our results suggest the increased susceptibility to thyroid cancer in subjects with TT genotype at position -656 G/T of the promoter of IL-18 gene, as well as TAGTT haplotype emerged from five studied SNPs in IL-18 gene. The data also suggest that the inheritance of +127 CC genotype may protect individuals from thyroid cancer derived from follicular epithelium.

Dagenais M, Dupaul-Chicoine J, Champagne C, et al.
A critical role for cellular inhibitor of protein 2 (cIAP2) in colitis-associated colorectal cancer and intestinal homeostasis mediated by the inflammasome and survival pathways.
Mucosal Immunol. 2016; 9(1):146-58 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cellular inhibitors of apoptosis proteins (cIAPs) are critical arbiters of cell death and key mediators of inflammation and innate immunity. cIAP2 is frequently overexpressed in colorectal cancer and in regenerating crypts of ulcerative colitis patients. However, its corresponding functions in intestinal homeostasis and underlying mechanisms in disease pathogenesis are poorly understood. We found that mice deficient in cIAP2 exhibited reduced colitis-associated colorectal cancer tumor burden but, surprisingly, enhanced susceptibility to acute and chronic colitis. The exacerbated colitis phenotype of cIAP2-deficient mice was mediated by increased cell death and impaired activation of the regenerative inflammasome-interleukin-18 (IL-18) pathway required for tissue repair following injury. Accordingly, administration of recombinant IL-18 or pharmacological inhibition of caspases or the kinase RIPK1 protected cIAP2-deficient mice from colitis and restored intestinal epithelial barrier architecture. Thus, cIAP2 orchestrates intestinal homeostasis by exerting a dual function in suppressing cell death and promoting intestinal epithelial cell proliferation and crypt regeneration.

Dwivedi S, Singh S, Goel A, et al.
Pro-(IL-18) and Anti-(IL-10) Inflammatory Promoter Genetic Variants (Intrinsic Factors) with Tobacco Exposure (Extrinsic Factors) May Influence Susceptibility and Severity of Prostate Carcinoma: A Prospective Study.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2015; 16(8):3173-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: It has been hypothesized that IL-18 (pro-) and IL-10 (anti-) inflammatory genetic variants at -607 C/A-137G/C and -819C/T,-592C/A, respectively, may generate susceptibility and severity risk with various modes of tobacco exposure in prostate carcinoma (PCa) patients. IL-18 is a pro-inflammatory cytokine expressed on various cells including prostate gland elements, and is a key mediator of immune responses with anti-cancerous properties. IL-10 is an anti-inflammatory cytokine that is associated with tumour malignancy which causes immune escape.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The present study was conducted with 540 subjects, comprising 269 prostate carcinoma patients and 271 controls. Genotyping was performed by PCR-RFLP and confirmed by real time PCR probe-based methods.
RESULTS: The findings indicated that the mutant heterozygous and homozygous genotype CC and GC+CC showed significant negative associations (p=0.01, OR=0.21; 95% CI: 0.08-0.51 and p=0.011, OR=0.43; 95% CI: 0.22-0.81, respectively) thus, less chance to be diagnosed as cancer against GG genotype of tobacco smoking patients. In addition, a heterozygous GC genotype at the same locus of IL-18 pro-inflammatory cytokine may aggravate the severity (OR=2.82; 95%CI 1.09-7.29 :p=001) so that patients are more likely to be diagnosed in advanced stage than with the GG wild homozygous genotype. Our results also illustrated that anti-inflammatory cytokine (IL-10) genetic variants, although showing no significant association with susceptibility to cancer of the prostate, may gave profound effects on severity of the disease, as -819 TC (OR=4.60; 95%CI 1.35-15.73), and -592 AC (OR=5.04; 95%CI 1.08-25.43) of IL-10 in tobacco chewers and combined users (both chewers and smokers) respectively, are associated with diagnosis in more advanced stage than with other variants.
CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that promoter genetic variants of IL-18 and IL-10 with various modes of tobacco exposure may affect not only susceptibility risk but also severity in prostate cancer.

Dwivedi S, Goel A, Khattri S, et al.
Genetic variability at promoters of IL-18 (pro-) and IL-10 (anti-) inflammatory gene affects susceptibility and their circulating serum levels: An explorative study of prostate cancer patients in North Indian populations.
Cytokine. 2015; 74(1):117-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
Inflammation is an important hallmark of all types of cancers with a well-established role in carcinogenesis. The net inflammatory response is determined by the balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, the levels of which may be affected by the genetic make-up. Interleukin (IL)-18, a pro-inflammatory cytokine expressed by various cells including those of the prostate, is a key mediator of anti-cancer immune response. IL-10, an anti-inflammatory cytokine associated with tumour malignancy, causes escape from immune surveillance. This study hypothesizes that genetic variants of IL-18 (-607 C/A and -137 G/T) and IL-10 (-819 C/T and -592 C/A) may influence the circulating levels of these interleukins, thereby generating susceptibility risk to prostate cancer. The study was conducted on 676 subjects (controls and patients of prostate cancer (PCa): 291 each; and 94 patients with benign prostate hypertrophy (BPH)). Genotyping was performed by PCR-RFLP and Real-Time PCR probe-based method. Circulating interleukin levels were obtained by ELISA. Circulating IL-18 levels were significantly elevated in cancer and BPH patients carrying GG genotypes for -137 of IL-18. The trend of circulating IL-18 levels was GG>GC>CC, observed in all groups. The -137 genetic variants of IL-18 significantly associated with PCa risk were GC, CC, and GC+CC, compared to GG (OR: 1.71, 95% CI: 1.20-2.46; OR: 3.35, 95% CI: 2.03-5.53; and OR: 2.05, 95% CI: 1.46-2.87, respectively). A significant association of AA and CA+AA against CC genotype was observed at -607 locus of IL-18 (OR: 0.46, 95%CI: 0.29-0.72; OR: 0.61, 95% CI: 0.41-0.90, respectively). Significantly elevated levels of IL-10 were observed with TT (wild) genotype at -819 of IL-10, compared to the CC (homozygous mutant) genotype in all three groups of subjects. However, no significant association was found between IL-10 promoter genotypes and PCa risk. We conclude that genetic variants of IL-18 and IL-10 promoters influence the circulating levels of these interleukins. Variations at -137 and -607 loci of IL-18 are associated with susceptibility to PCa.

Ciccia F, Guggino G, Rizzo A, et al.
Interleukin (IL)-22 receptor 1 is over-expressed in primary Sjogren's syndrome and Sjögren-associated non-Hodgkin lymphomas and is regulated by IL-18.
Clin Exp Immunol. 2015; 181(2):219-29 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The aim of this study was to elucidate more clearly the role of interleukin (IL)-18 in modulating the IL-22 pathway in primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS) patients and in pSS-associated lymphomas. Minor salivary glands (MSGs) from patients with pSS and non-specific chronic sialoadenitis (nSCS), parotid glands biopsies from non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL) developed in pSS patients, were evaluated for IL-18, IL-22, IL-22 receptor 1 (IL-22R1), IL-22 binding protein (IL-22BP) and signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (STAT-3) expression. MSGs IL-22R1-expressing cells were characterized by confocal microscopy and flow cytometry in pSS, nSCS and healthy controls . The effect of recombinant IL-18 and IL-22 on peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from pSS and nSCS was studied by flow cytometry and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). MSGs of pSS and NHL were characterized by an imbalance between IL-22 and IL-22BP protein expression, with IL-18 and IL-22BP being expressed in a mutually exclusive manner and IL-18 and IL-22R1 being correlated directly. Aberrant expression of IL-22R1, induced by IL-18, was observed only among tissue and circulating myeloid cells of pSS patients and macrophages of NHL tissues of pSS patients, but not nSCS. IL-22R1 expression on PBMC of pSS was functional, as its stimulation with recombinant IL-22 significantly up-regulated the expression of STAT-3, IL-17 and IL-22. An IL-18-dependent aberrant expression of IL-22R1 on cells of haematopoietic origin seems to be a specific immunological signature of patients with pSS and pSS-associated lymphomas.

Tas F, Tilgen Yasasever C, Karabulut S, et al.
Clinical significance of serum interleukin-18 (IL-18) levels in patients with gastric cancer.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2015; 70:19-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
An inappropriate production of interleukin-18 (IL-18) contributes to the pathogenesis of malignancies and may influence the clinical outcome of patients. The objective of this study was to determine the clinical significance of the serum levels of IL-18 in patients with gastric cancer. A total of 63 patients with a pathologically confirmed diagnosis of gastric cancer were enrolled into this study. Serum IL-18 concentrations were determined by the solid-phase sandwich Elisa method. Age- and sex-matched 30 healthy controls were included in the analysis. The median age at diagnosis was 62 years, range 28 to 82 years. The baseline serum IL-18 levels of the gastric cancer patients were a significantly higher than those in the control group (median values 1436.4 vs. 638.4 pg/mL, respectively, P<0.001). The known clinical variables including age of patient, gender, site of lesion, histology, histological grade, stage of disease, and serum tumor markers such as LDH, CEA, and CA 19.9 were not found to be correlated with serum IL-18 concentrations (P>0.05). Moreover, no correlation was found between serum IL-18 level and response to chemotherapy (P=0.34). Serum IL-18 concentration was also found no prognostic role on survival (P=0.21). In conclusion, serum levels of IL-18 may have a good diagnostic marker in patients with gastric cancer. However, its predictive and prognostic values were not determined.

Yang Y, Cheon S, Jung MK, et al.
Interleukin-18 enhances breast cancer cell migration via down-regulation of claudin-12 and induction of the p38 MAPK pathway.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2015; 459(3):379-86 [PubMed] Related Publications
Interleukin-18 (IL-18) was recently reported to have a pro-tumor effect in various cancers. Increased IL-18 levels in the serum of cancer patients correlated with malignancy, and IL-18 acts a crucial factor for cell migration in gastric cancer and melanoma. Claudins, which are the most important tight junction proteins, are also linked with cancer progression and metastasis. However, the relationship between claudins and IL-18 is not well-understood. Here, we show that the migratory ability of MCF-7 cells was reduced when endogenous IL-18 expression was inhibited with IL-18 siRNA. Moreover, exogenous IL-18 enhanced breast cancer cell migration and suppressed the expression of the tight junction proteins claudin-1, claudin-3, claudin-4, and claudin-12 in MCF-7 cells. Knockdown of claudin-3, claudin-4, and claudin-12, but not claudin-1, increased breast cancer migration with maximal effects observed in claudin-12 siRNA-transfected cells. To investigate whether the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway is involved in IL-18-induced cell migration and claudin-12 expression, cells were pretreated with SB203580 (an inhibitor of p38 MAPK) or PD98059 (an inhibitor of ERK1/2) prior to the addition of IL-18. Although pretreatment of MCF-7 cells with SB203580 blocked both the enhanced cell migration and the decreased claudin-12 expression, PD98059 only blocked cell migration and did not affect claudin-12 expression. In addition, exogenous IL-18 induced rapid phosphorylation of p38 MAPK. These results suggest that IL-18 is an important factor inducing breast cancer cell migration through down-regulation of claudin-12 and activation of the p38 MAPK pathway.

Williams TM, Leeth RA, Rothschild DE, et al.
The NLRP1 inflammasome attenuates colitis and colitis-associated tumorigenesis.
J Immunol. 2015; 194(7):3369-80 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich repeat (NLR) proteins are a diverse family of pattern recognition receptors that are essential mediators of inflammation and host defense in the gastrointestinal system. Recent studies have identified a subgroup of inflammasome forming NLRs that modulate the mucosal immune response during inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and colitis associated tumorigenesis. To better elucidate the contribution of NLR family members in IBD and cancer, we conducted a retrospective analysis of gene expression metadata from human patients. These data revealed that NLRP1, an inflammasome forming NLR, was significantly dysregulated in IBD and colon cancer. To better characterize the function of NLRP1 in disease pathogenesis, we used Nlrp1b(-/-) mice in colitis and colitis-associated cancer models. In this paper, we report that NLRP1 attenuates gastrointestinal inflammation and tumorigenesis. Nlrp1b(-/-) mice demonstrated significant increases in morbidity, inflammation, and tumorigenesis compared with wild-type animals. Similar to data previously reported for related inflammasome forming NLRs, the increased inflammation and tumor burden was correlated with attenuated levels of IL-1β and IL-18. Further mechanistic studies using bone marrow reconstitution experiments revealed that the increased disease pathogenesis in the Nlrp1b(-/-) mice was associated with nonhematopoietic-derived cells and suggests that NLRP1 functions in the colon epithelial cell compartment to attenuate tumorigenesis. Taken together, these data identify NLRP1 as an essential mediator of the host immune response during IBD and cancer. These findings are consistent with a model whereby multiple NLR inflammasomes attenuate disease pathobiology through modulating IL-1β and IL-18 levels in the colon.

Bayhan Z, Simşek T, Ergül E, et al.
Serum cytokine levels in patients with colorectal cancers according to tumor stages and VEGF gene polymorphism.
Hepatogastroenterology. 2014; 61(135):1889-94 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Colorectal cancers are the most common cancers of the gastrointestinal system. A significant relationship was detected between the metastasis and tumor angiogenesis of colorectal cancer. The aim of the present study was to investigate the association between some cytokines and tumor stages. Additionally, association between VEGF gene polymorphisms and colorectal cancer was studied.
METHODS: In this study, we measured serum IL-18, IL-2, VEGF, endothelin (ET), and nitric oxide (NO) levels in 44 patients with colorectal cancer and 44 healthy controls. Also we investigated VEGF G634C (rs2010963) and VEGF C936T (rs3025039) polymorphisms of VEGF gene in these groups by using a PCR-RFLP method. Data were analyzed statistically.
RESULTS: Serum levels of IL-18, VEGF, IL-2 and NO were significantly higher in patients with colorectal cancer when compared to controls (p<0,05). Serum ET levels were found to be similar in colorectal cancer patients and healthy controls. When we compared the two subgroups constituted by tumor stages (Stage 1-2 and Stage 3-4) with each other, serum VEGF levels were found significantly higher in stage 3-4 group than stage 1-2 group (p<0,05). No significant difference was found between subgroups with regard to other parameters. We found that investigated VEGF G634C and VEGF C936T polymorphisms were not associated with the severity of colorectal cancer. (P=0.228 for VEGF G–634-C; P= 0.484 for VEGF C–936-T) CONCLUSION: In the future, serum levels of IL-18, VEGF, IL-2 and NO may be a useful marker for diagnosis of patients with colorectal cancer. Additionally we consider that serum VEGF levels can be used as a tumor marker to predict prognosis of cancer. However, larger studies with long-term follow-up are necessary to clarify this hypothesis. On the other hand, there is necessity for the new studies for determination of association between VEGF gene polymorphism and colorectal cancer.

Koch AT, Love-Homan L, Espinosa-Cotton M, et al.
MyD88-Dependent Signaling Decreases the Antitumor Efficacy of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Inhibition in Head and Neck Cancer Cells.
Cancer Res. 2015; 75(8):1657-67 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
EGFR is upregulated in the majority of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC). However, many patients with HNSCC respond poorly to the EGFR inhibitors (EGFRI) cetuximab and erlotinib, despite tumor expression of EGFR. Gene expression analysis of erlotinib-treated HNSCC cells revealed an upregulation of genes involved in MyD88-dependent signaling compared with their respective vehicle-treated cell lines. We therefore investigated whether MyD88-dependent signaling may reduce the antitumor efficacy of EGFRIs in HNSCC. Erlotinib significantly upregulated IL6 secretion in HNSCC cell lines, which our laboratory previously reported to result in reduced drug efficacy. Suppression of MyD88 expression blocked erlotinib-induced IL6 secretion in vitro and increased the antitumor activity of erlotinib in vivo. There was little evidence of Toll-like receptor or IL18 receptor involvement in erlotinib-induced IL6 secretion. However, suppression of IL1R signaling significantly reduced erlotinib-induced IL6 production. A time-dependent increase of IL1α but not IL1β was observed in response to erlotinib treatment, and IL1α blockade significantly increased the antitumor activity of erlotinib and cetuximab in vivo. A pan-caspase inhibitor reduced erlotinib-induced IL1α secretion, suggesting that IL1α was released because of cell death. Human HNSCC tumors showed higher IL1α mRNA levels compared with matched normal tissue, and IL1α was found to be negatively correlated with survival in patients with HNSCC. Overall, the IL1α/IL1R/MYD88/IL6 pathway may be responsible for the reduced antitumor efficacy of erlotinib and other EGFRIs, and blockade of IL1 signaling may improve the efficacy of EGFRIs in the treatment of HNSCC.

Wu H, Yu K, Yang Z
Associations between TNF-α and interleukin gene polymorphisms with polycystic ovary syndrome risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
J Assist Reprod Genet. 2015; 32(4):625-34 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The associations between TNF-α and Interleukin gene polymorphisms and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) risk have been studied in numerous epidemiological studies, but the results remain controversial. To investigate whether these polymorphisms facilitate susceptibility to PCOS, we conducted a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis.
METHODS: PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, Medline, CNKI, and Google Scholar were searched to obtain the genetic association studies according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Odds ratios (OR) with corresponding 95 % confidence intervals (CI) were used to assess the strengths of the associations. Funnel plots and Egger's tests were performed to test for possible publication bias. All statistical analyses were performed using Review Manager 5.2 and STATA11.0.
RESULTS: Eighteen articles were included in the final meta-analysis. The studies involved the following polymorphisms: TNF-α -308G > A, TNF-α -805C>T, TNF-α -1031 T>C, IL-1A -889C>T, IL-1B -511C>T, IL-1B +3953 T>C, IL-6 -174G>C, IL-10 -819C>T, IL-10 -1082A>G, IL-18 -607C>A, and IL-18 -137G>C. Our results show a significant association between PCOS risk and the TNF-α -1031 T>C polymorphism (For TC+CC vs. TT: OR=2.09, 95 % CI=1.58-2.76, p<0.0001. For C allele vs. T allele: OR=1.67, 95 % CI=1.33-2.09, p<0.0001) and between PCOS risk and the IL-6 -174>C polymorphism (For CC+GC vs. GG: OR=0.49, 95 % CI=0.25-0.95, p=0.03. For CC vs. GG: OR=0.48, 95 % CI=0.28-0.80, p=0.005. For C vs. G: OR=0.60, 95 % CI=0.42-0.87, p=0.007). No associations were found with the other genetic models.
CONCLUSION: The results of the meta-analysis suggest positive associations between the TNF-α -1031 T>C and IL-6 -174G>C polymorphisms and the risk of PCOS. No associations are found between PCOS risk and the TNF-α -308G>A, TNF-α -805C>T, IL-1A -889C>T, IL-1B -511C>T, IL-1B +3953C>T, IL-10 -819C>T, IL-10 -1082 A>G, IL-18 -607C>A, and IL-18 -137G>C polymorphisms. However, due to the heterogeneity and low quality of the studies related to PCOS polymorphisms in the meta-analysis, the results should be interpreted with caution. Future multi-ethnicity studies of homogeneous populations of PCOS patients with larger sample sizes and well-matched controls are needed.

Fabbi M, Carbotti G, Ferrini S
Context-dependent role of IL-18 in cancer biology and counter-regulation by IL-18BP.
J Leukoc Biol. 2015; 97(4):665-75 [PubMed] Related Publications
IL-18 is a proinflammatory and immune regulatory cytokine, member of the IL-1 family. IL-18 was initially identified as an IFN-γ-inducing factor in T and NK cells, involved in Th1 responses. IL-18 is produced as an inactive precursor (pro-IL-18) that is enzymatically processed into a mature form by Casp1. Different cells, such as macrophages, DCs, microglial cells, synovial fibroblasts, and epithelial cells, express pro-IL-18, and the production of bioactive IL-18 is mainly regulated at the processing level. PAMP or DAMP molecules activate inflammasomes, which trigger Casp1 activation and IL-18 conversion. The natural inhibitor IL-18BP , whose production is enhanced by IFN-γ and IL-27, further regulates IL-18 activity in the extracellular environment. Inflammasomes and IL-18 represent double-edged swords in cancer, as their activation may promote tumor development and progression or oppositely, enhance anti-tumor immunity and limit tumor growth. IL-18 has shown anti-tumor activity in different preclinical models of cancer immunotherapy through the activation of NK and/or T cell responses and has been tested in clinical studies in cancer patients. However, the dual role of IL-18 in different experimental tumor models and human cancers raises critical issues on its therapeutic use in cancer. This review will summarize the biology of the IL-18/IL-18R/IL-18BP system and will address the role of IL-18 and its inhibitor, IL-18BP, in cancer biology and immunotherapy.

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