Gene Summary

Gene:IL27; interleukin 27
Aliases: p28, IL30, IL-27, IL27A, IL-27A, IL27p28
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is one of the subunits of a heterodimeric cytokine complex. This protein is related to interleukin 12A (IL12A). It interacts with Epstein-Barr virus induced gene 3 (EBI3), a protein similar to interleukin 12B (IL12B), and forms a complex that has been shown to drive rapid expansion of naive but not memory CD4(+) T cells. The complex is also found to synergize strongly with interleukin 12 to trigger interferon gamma (IFNG) production of naive CD4(+) T cells. The biological effects of this cytokine are mediated by the class I cytokine receptor (WSX1/TCRR). [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:interleukin-27 subunit alpha
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 31 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (8)

Latest Publications: IL27 (cancer-related)

Park YJ, Ryu H, Choi G, et al.
IL-27 confers a protumorigenic activity of regulatory T cells via CD39.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019; 116(8):3106-3111 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Expression of ectonucleotidase CD39 contributes to the suppressive activity of Foxp3

Rolvering C, Zimmer AD, Ginolhac A, et al.
The PD-L1- and IL6-mediated dampening of the IL27/STAT1 anticancer responses are prevented by α-PD-L1 or α-IL6 antibodies.
J Leukoc Biol. 2018; 104(5):969-985 [PubMed] Related Publications
Interleukin-27 (IL27) is a type-I cytokine of the IL6/IL12 family and is predominantly secreted by activated macrophages and dendritic cells. We show that IL27 induces STAT factor phosphorylation in cancerous cell lines of different tissue origin. IL27 leads to STAT1 phosphorylation and recapitulates an IFN-γ-like response in the microarray analyses, with up-regulation of genes involved in antiviral defense, antigen presentation, and immune suppression. Like IFN-γ, IL27 leads to an up-regulation of TAP2 and MHC-I proteins, which mediate increased tumor immune clearance. However, both cytokines also upregulate proteins such as PD-L1 (CD274) and IDO-1, which are associated with immune escape of cancer. Interestingly, differential expression of these genes was observed within the different cell lines and when comparing IL27 to IFN-γ. In coculture experiments of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells with peripheral blood mononuclear cells, pre-treatment of the HCC cells with IL27 resulted in lowered IL2 production by anti-CD3/-CD28 activated T-lymphocytes. Addition of anti-PD-L1 antibody, however, restored IL2 secretion. The levels of other T

Shahbazi S, Bolhassani A
Comparison of six cell penetrating peptides with different properties for in vitro and in vivo delivery of HPV16 E7 antigen in therapeutic vaccines.
Int Immunopharmacol. 2018; 62:170-180 [PubMed] Related Publications
The high risk human papillomavirus (HPV) types 16 and 18 are globally linked to >50% and 20% of all cervical cancers, respectively. The HPV E7 oncoprotein was determined as a therapeutic vaccine target due to its constitutive expression by HPV-infected cells. The findings demonstrated the efficiency of therapeutic HPV DNA- and protein-based vaccines in preclinical and clinical trials. However, there are limitations for penetration of DNA and protein constructs into the cells without a suitable delivery system. Recently, several cell penetrating peptides (CPPs) have been suggested for delivery of nucleic acids and proteins into cells through covalent or non-covalent fashion. In this study, we determined highly efficient CPPs for the controlled delivery of HPV16 E7 antigen, in vitro and in vivo. Our data indicated the effective delivery of E7 protein by Pep-1, Cady-2, P28 and hPP10, and E7 DNA by MPG and +36 GFP CPPs in HEK-293T cell line at certain ratios. Moreover, immunization with the heterologous MPG + E7 DNA prime/P28 + rE7 protein boost elicited a higher Th1 cellular immune response with a predominant IFN-γ profile and strong Granzyme B secretion than those induced by other groups in a murine tumor model. Indeed, the groups vaccinated with rE7+ P28/rE7+ P28, MPG+ E7 DNA/P28+ rE7, and E7 DNA+ MPG/E7 DNA+ MPG nanovaccines displayed complete protection and remained tumor-free >60 days after treatment. These data suggest P28 and MPG as promising protein and gene delivery systems for development of HPV therapeutic vaccines.

Poudyal D, Herman A, Adelsberger JW, et al.
A novel microRNA, hsa-miR-6852 differentially regulated by Interleukin-27 induces necrosis in cervical cancer cells by downregulating the FoxM1 expression.
Sci Rep. 2018; 8(1):900 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We have previously demonstrated that Interleukin-27 differentially regulates the expression of seven novel microRNAs. Here we elucidate the functional significance of these novel microRNAs. Of the seven microRNAs, over expression of miRNA-6852 (miR-SX4) mimic induces cell cycle arrest at G2/M phase and induces necrosis in HEK293 and panel of cervical cancer cells (Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infected cell lines; HeLa, CaSki and SiHa cells). To define the mechanism of the miR-SX4-mediated G2/M arrest, a microarray gene chip array and western blot analysis were performed. FoxM1, a transcription factor is identified as a key protein down-regulated by miR-SX4, even though the miR-SX4 does not target 3'UTR of FoxM1. Knock down of FoxM1 using si-RNA demonstrate that FoxM1 silenced cell induces G2/M cell cycle arrest and necrosis. Our data demonstrated for the first time that miR-SX4 could be a potent anti-cancer microRNA.

Taheri T, Jamialahmadi K, Khadijeh F
Unexpected Lower Expression of Oncoprotein Gankyrin in Drug Resistant ABCG2 Overexpressing Breast Cancer Cell Lines
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2017; 18(12):3413-3418 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Background: Development of a multidrug resistance (MDR) phenotype to chemotherapy remains a major barrier in the treatment of cancer. Gankyrin (p28, p28GANK or PSMD10) is an oncoprotein overexpressed in different carcinoma cell lines. The aim of this study was to compare Gankyrin expression level in MDR cells (MCF-7/ADR and MCF-7/ MX) and non-MDR counterparts (MCF-7). Methods: Gankyrin, MDR1 (also known as ABCB1; the ATP-binding cassette sub-family B member 1) and ABCG2 (also known as BCRP; the human breast cancer resistance protein) mRNA levels were analyzed by real-time RT-PCR. Western blot analysis was used to detect the protein expression levels of Gankyrin. Results: The PCR results showed that the expression of Gankyrin was significantly lower in the ABCG2 overexpressing cell line MCF-7/MX than in non-resistanct MCF-7 cells. In contrast, there were no significant differences in mRNA expression of Gankyrin in the MDR1 overexpressing cell line MCF-7/ADR in comparison with MCF-7 cells. Similarly, Western blot analysis confirmed lower expression of Gankyrin protein in the MCF-7/MX cell line (26% compared to controls) but not in MCF-7/ADR cells. Conclusion: These findings showed that there may be a relation between down-regulation of Gankyrin and overexpression of ABCG2 but without any clear relationship with MDR1 expression in breast cancer cell lines.

Chiba Y, Mizoguchi I, Hasegawa H, et al.
Regulation of myelopoiesis by proinflammatory cytokines in infectious diseases.
Cell Mol Life Sci. 2018; 75(8):1363-1376 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hematopoiesis is hierarchically orchestrated by a very small population of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) that reside in the bone-marrow niche and are tightly regulated to maintain homeostatic blood production. HSCs are predominantly quiescent, but they enter the cell cycle in response to inflammatory signals evoked by severe systemic infection or injury. Thus, hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) can be activated by pathogen recognition receptors and proinflammatory cytokines to induce emergency myelopoiesis during infection. This emergency myelopoiesis counterbalances the loss of cells and generates lineage-restricted hematopoietic progenitors, eventually replenishing mature myeloid cells to control the infection. Controlled generation of such signals effectively augments host defense, but dysregulated stimulation by these signals is harmful to HSPCs. Such hematopoietic failure often results in blood disorders including chronic inflammatory diseases and hematological malignancies. Recently, we found that interleukin (IL)-27, one of the IL-6/IL-12 family cytokines, has a unique ability to directly act on HSCs and promote their expansion and differentiation into myeloid progenitors. This process resulted in enhanced production of neutrophils by emergency myelopoiesis during the blood-stage mouse malaria infection. In this review, we summarize recent advances in the regulation of myelopoiesis by proinflammatory cytokines including type I and II interferons, IL-6, IL-27, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, macrophage colony-stimulating factor, and IL-1 in infectious diseases.

Febvre-James M, Lecureur V, Augagneur Y, et al.
Repression of interferon β-regulated cytokines by the JAK1/2 inhibitor ruxolitinib in inflammatory human macrophages.
Int Immunopharmacol. 2018; 54:354-365 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ruxolitinib is a Janus kinase (JAK) 1/2 inhibitor, currently used in the treatment of myeloproliferative neoplasms. It exerts potent anti-inflammatory activity, but the involved molecular and cellular mechanisms remain poorly understood. In order to gain insights about this point, ruxolitinib effects towards expression of main inflammatory cytokines were studied in human macrophages, which constitute a key-cell type implicated in inflammation. Analysis of mRNA expression of cytokines (n=84) by PCR array indicated that, among those induced by the pro-inflammatory stimulus lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (n=44), 61.4% (n=27) were repressed by 5μM ruxolitinib. The major inflammatory cytokines, interleukin (IL) 6 and tumor necrosis factor α, were notably down-regulated by ruxolitinib at both the mRNA and protein level. Other repressed cytokines included IL27 and the chemokines CCL2, CXCL9, CXCL10 and CXCL11, but not IL1β. The interferon (IFN) β/JAK/signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) pathway, well-activated by LPS in human macrophages as demonstrated by increased secretion of IFNβ, STAT1 phosphorylation, and up-regulation of reference IFNβ-responsive genes, was concomitantly blocked by the JAK inhibitor. Most of cytokines targeted by ruxolitinib were shown to be regulated by IFNβ in a JAK-sensitive manner. In addition, counteracting the IFNβ/JAK/STAT cascade using a blocking monoclonal antibody directed against IFNβ receptor resulted in a similar profile of cytokine repression to that observed in response to the JAK inhibitor. Overall, these data provide evidence for ruxolitinib-mediated repression of inflammatory cytokines in human macrophages through inhibition of the LPS/IFNβ/JAK/STAT signalling pathway, which probably contributes to the anti-inflammatory effects of the JAK inhibitor.

Kopiński P, Wandtke T, Dyczek A, et al.
Increased levels of interleukin 27 in patients with early clinical stages of non-small cell lung cancer.
Pol Arch Intern Med. 2018; 128(2):105-114 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION    Interleukin 27 (IL‑27) is a cytokine secreted mostly by antigen‑presenting cells. It is important for the immune polarization of T helper‑1 (Th1) cells, and its role in interstitial lung diseases (ILDs) and lung cancer has been investigated. OBJECTIVES    We assessed IL‑27 expression in the lower airways of patients with selected ILDs and early‑stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). PATIENTS AND METHODS    IL‑27 concentrations were examined by an enzyme‑linked immunosorbent assay in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid supernatants collected from patients with pulmonary sarcoidosis (PS; n = 30), extrinsic allergic alveolitis (EAA; n = 14), idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF; n = 12), nonspecific interstitial pneumonia (NSIP; n = 14), and NSCLC stages I to IIa (n = 16) with peripheral localization, and in controls (n = 14). The major lymphocyte subsets in BAL fluid were phenotyped, and intracellular IL‑27 expression was evaluated by flow cytometry.  RESULTS    IL‑27 concentrations in BAL fluid supernatants were significantly increased in Th1‑mediated conditions such as EAA and PS, but not in IPF or NSIP. The highest IL‑27 levels (median [SEM], 16.9 [17.5] pg/ml) were reported for NCSLC, and the lowest-for controls (median [SEM], 0.4 [0.2] pg/ml). IL‑27 was undetectable in corticosteroid‑treated patients with PS. Both CD4+ and CD8+ lymphocytes were positive for IL‑27; they were a possible local source of IL‑27 because the cytokine levels were positivelysignificantly correlated with the total number of lymphocytes, including CD4+ cells. CONCLUSIONS    Our results support the Th1‑linked activity of IL‑27in ILDs. Early‑stageNSCLC is characterizedby high IL‑27expression in the lower airways. IL‑27 is produced by a high percentage of CD4+ and CD8+ cells in BAL fluid, both in patients and controls.

Carbotti G, Nikpoor AR, Vacca P, et al.
IL-27 mediates HLA class I up-regulation, which can be inhibited by the IL-6 pathway, in HLA-deficient Small Cell Lung Cancer cells.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2017; 36(1):140 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Recently, immunotherapy with anti-PD-1 antibodies has shown clinical benefit in recurrent Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC). Since anti-PD-1 re-activates anti-tumor Cytotoxic T Lymphocyte (CTL) responses, it is crucial to understand the mechanisms regulating HLA class I, and PD-L1 expression in HLA-negative SCLC. Here we addressed the role of IL-27, a cytokine related to both IL-6 and IL-12 families.
METHODS: The human SCLC cell lines NCI-N592, -H69, -H146, -H446 and -H82 were treated in vitro with different cytokines (IL-27, IFN-γ, IL-6 or a soluble IL-6R/IL-6 chimera [sIL-6R/IL-6]) at different time points and analyzed for tyrosine-phosphorylated STAT proteins by Western blot, for surface molecule expression by immunofluorescence and FACS analyses or for specific mRNA expression by QRT-PCR. Relative quantification of mRNAs was calculated by the ΔΔCT method. The Student's T test was used for the statistical analysis of experimental replicates.
RESULTS: IL-27 triggered STAT1/3 phosphorylation and up-regulated the expression of surface HLA class I antigen and of TAP1 and TAP2 mRNA in four out of five SCLC cell lines tested. The IL-27-resistant NCI-H146 cells showed up-regulation of HLA class I by IFN-γ. IFN-γ also induced expression of PD-L1 in SCLC cells, while IL-27 was less potent in this respect. IL-27 failed to activate STAT1/3 phosphorylation in NCI-H146 cells, which display a low expression of the IL-27RA and GP130 receptor chains. As GP130 is shared in IL-27R and IL-6R complexes, we assessed its functionality in response to sIL-6R/IL-6. sIL-6R/IL-6 failed to trigger STAT1/3 signaling in NCI-H146 cells, suggesting low GP130 expression or uncoupling from signal transduction. Although both sIL-6R/IL-6 and IL-27 triggered STAT1/3 phosphorylation, sIL-6R/IL-6 failed to up-regulate HLA class I expression, in relationship to the weak activation of STAT1. Finally sIL-6R/IL-6 limited IL-27-effects, particularly in NCI-H69 cells, in a SOCS3-independent manner, but did not modify IFN-γ induced HLA class I up-regulation.
CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, IL-27 is a potentially interesting cytokine for restoring HLA class I expression for SCLC combined immunotherapy purposes. However, the concomitant activation of the IL-6 pathway may limit the IL-27 effect on HLA class I induction but did not significantly alter the responsiveness to IFN-γ.

Huang C, Li Z, Li N, et al.
Interleukin 35 Expression Correlates With Microvessel Density in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma, Recruits Monocytes, and Promotes Growth and Angiogenesis of Xenograft Tumors in Mice.
Gastroenterology. 2018; 154(3):675-688 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Cells of the monocyte lineage contribute to tumor angiogenesis. Interleukin 35 (IL35) is a member of the IL12 family produced by regulatory, but not effector, T cells. IL35 is a dimer comprising the IL12 alpha and IL27 beta chains, encoded by IL12A and EBI3, respectively. Expression of IL35 is increased in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas (PDACs) compared with normal pancreatic tissues, and promotes metastasis. We investigated the role of IL35 in monocyte-induced angiogenesis of PDAC in mice.
METHODS: We measured levels of IL35 protein, microvessel density, and numbers of monocytes in 123 sequential PDAC tissues from patients who underwent surgery in China in 2010. We performed studies with the human PDAC cell lines CFPAC-1, BxPC-3, Panc-1, MIA-PaCa-2, and mouse PDAC cell line Pan02. Monocyte subsets were isolated by flow cytometry from human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Fused human or mouse IL12A and EBI3 genes were overexpressed in PDAC cells or knocked down using small hairpin RNAs. Cells were grown as xenograft tumors in SCID mice; some mice were given injections of an IL35-neutralizing antibody and tumor growth was monitored. We performed chemotaxis assays to measure the ability of IL35 to recruit monocytes. We analyzed mRNA sequences of 179 PDACs in the Cancer Genome Atlas to identify correlations between expression of IL12A and EBI3 and monocyte markers. Monocytes incubated with IL35 or PDAC cell supernatants were analyzed in tube formation and endothelial migration assays.
RESULTS: In PDAC samples from patients, levels of IL35 mRNA and protein correlated with microvessel density and infiltration of monocyte lineage cells. In cells and mice with xenograft tumors, IL35 increased recruitment of monocytes into PDAC tumors, which required CCL5. Upon exposure to IL35, monocytes increased expression of genes whose products promote angiogenesis (CXCL1 and CXCL8). IL35 activated transcription of CCL5, CXCL1, and CXCL8 by inducing GP130 signaling, via IL12RB2 and phosphorylation of STAT1 and STAT4. A combination of a neutralizing antibody against IL35 and gemcitabine significantly decreased monocyte infiltration, microvessel density, and volume of xenograft tumors grown from PDAC cells in mice.
CONCLUSIONS: PDAC cells produce IL35 to recruit monocytes via CCL5 and induce macrophage to promote angiogenesis via expression of CXCL1 and CXCL8. IL35 signaling promotes angiogenesis and growth of xenograft tumors from PDAC cells in mice. IL35 might serve as a therapeutic target for patients with pancreatic cancer.

Chehboun S, Labrecque-Carbonneau J, Pasquin S, et al.
Epstein-Barr virus-induced gene 3 (EBI3) can mediate IL-6
J Biol Chem. 2017; 292(16):6644-6656 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Epstein-Barr virus-induced gene 3 (EBI3) is a subunit of the composite cytokines IL-27 and IL-35. Both have beneficial functions or effects in models of infectious and autoimmune diseases. This suggests that administration of EBI3 could be therapeutically useful by binding free p28 and p35 to generate IL-27 and IL-35. IL-27- and IL-35-independent functions of EBI3 could compromise its therapeutic uses. We therefore assessed the effects of EBI3 on cytokine receptor-expressing cells. We observed that EBI3 activates STAT3 and induces the proliferation of the IL-6-dependent B9 mouse plasmacytoma cell line. Analyses using blocking mAbs and Ba/F3 transfectants expressing gp130 indicate that EBI3 activity was linked to its capacity to mediate IL-6

Wrutniak-Cabello C, Casas F, Cabello G
Mitochondrial T3 receptor and targets.
Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2017; 458:112-120 [PubMed] Related Publications
The demonstration that TRα1 mRNA encodes a nuclear thyroid hormone receptor and two proteins imported into mitochondria with molecular masses of 43 and 28 kDa has brought new clues to better understand the pleiotropic influence of iodinated hormones. If p28 activity remains unknown, p43 binds to T3 responsive elements occurring in the organelle genome, and, in the T3 presence, stimulates mitochondrial transcription and the subsequent synthesis of mitochondrial encoded proteins. This influence increases mitochondrial activity and through changes in the mitochondrial/nuclear cross talk affects important nuclear target genes regulating cell proliferation and differentiation, oncogenesis, or apoptosis. In addition, this pathway influences muscle metabolic and contractile phenotype, as well as glycaemia regulation. Interestingly, according to the process considered, p43 exerts opposite or cooperative effects with the well-known T3 pathway, thus allowing a fine tuning of the physiological influence of this hormone.

Nie X, Yuan F, Chen P, et al.
Association between IL-27 gene polymorphisms and risk of papillary thyroid carcinoma.
Biomark Med. 2017; 11(2):141-149 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: IL-27 has potent antitumor effects. We aimed to examine the contribution of single nucleotide polymorphisms in IL-27 to the risk of papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC).
MATERIALS & METHODS:  IL-27 rs153109 and rs17855750 were analyzed in 496 PTC patients and 629 controls, using a polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism method.
RESULTS: The rs153109 AG and AG/GG genotypes were significantly associated with increased risks for PTC. Significantly increased PTC risk was also associated with rs17855750 GT and GT/GG genotypes. Combined genotypes of rs153109 AG/GG and rs17855750 GT/GG increased the risk of PTC (p < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: These findings showed that IL-27 rs153109 and rs17855750 might be related to the tumorigenesis of PTC.

Airoldi I, Cocco C, Sorrentino C, et al.
Interleukin-30 Promotes Breast Cancer Growth and Progression.
Cancer Res. 2016; 76(21):6218-6229 [PubMed] Related Publications
The inflammatory tissue microenvironment that promotes the development of breast cancer is not fully understood. Here we report a role for elevated IL30 in supporting the breast cancer cell viability and invasive migration. IL30 was absent in normal mammary ducts, ductules, and acini of histologically normal breast and scanty in the few stromal infiltrating leukocytes. In contrast, IL30 was expressed frequently in breast cancer specimens where it was associated with triple-negative and HER2

Petretto A, Carbotti G, Inglese E, et al.
Proteomic analysis uncovers common effects of IFN-γ and IL-27 on the HLA class I antigen presentation machinery in human cancer cells.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(45):72518-72536 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
IL-27, a member of the IL-12-family of cytokines, has shown anti-tumor activity in several pre-clinical models due to anti-proliferative, anti-angiogenic and immune-enhancing effects. On the other hand, IL-27 demonstrated immune regulatory activities and inhibition of auto-immunity in mouse models. Also, we reported that IL-27, similar to IFN-γ, induces the expression of IL-18BP, IDO and PD-L1 immune regulatory molecules in human cancer cells. Here, a proteomic analysis reveals that IL-27 and IFN-γ display a broad overlap of functions on human ovarian cancer cells. Indeed, among 990 proteins modulated by either cytokine treatment in SKOV3 cells, 814 showed a concordant modulation by both cytokines, while a smaller number (176) were differentially modulated. The most up-regulated proteins were common to both IFN-γ and IL-27. In addition, functional analysis of IL-27-regulated protein networks highlighted pathways of interferon signaling and regulation, antigen presentation, protection from natural killer cell-mediated cytotoxicity, regulation of protein polyubiquitination and proteasome, aminoacid catabolism and regulation of viral protein levels.Importantly, we found that IL-27 induced HLA class I molecule expression in human cancer cells of different histotypes, including tumor cells showing very low expression. IL-27 failed only in a cancer cell line bearing a homozygous deletion in the B2M gene. Altogether, these data point out to a broad set of activities shared by IL-27 and IFN-γ, which are dependent on the common activation of the STAT1 pathway. These data add further explanation to the anti-tumor activity of IL-27 and also to its dual role in immune regulation.

Zhang Z, Zhou B, Zhang K, et al.
IL-27 suppresses SKOV3 cells proliferation by enhancing STAT3 and inhibiting the Akt signal pathway.
Mol Immunol. 2016; 78:155-163 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ovarian cancer continues to be the most lethal gynecologic malignancy worldwide. IL-27 is a novel member of the IL-12 cytokine family. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of IL-27 on the ovarian cystadenocarcinoma cell line SKOV3 and determine possible mechanisms underlying its effect. We stably transfected an IL-27 plasmid, empty vector, IL-27 shRNA or negative control into SKOV3 cells. Cell proliferative activity was evaluated using a WST-1 cell proliferation assay kit. Cell viability was quantified by measurements of lactate dehydrogenase release. The mRNA levels of nine genes were tested by q-PCR. Western blotting was used to verify apoptosis and signal pathways. We found that the IL-27 plasmid significantly enhanced cytotoxicity and inhibited the proliferation of SKOV3 cells. Caspase-3 protein was augmented by IL-27 plasmid and abated by IL-27 shRNA. The incremental expression of IL-27 activated the STAT3 pathway and attenuated the Akt pathway. The over-expression of IL-27 could significantly upregulate a series of antitumor cytokines including IL-6, IL-12 and interferon-γ and down-regulate protumor factors such as TLR4 and NF-κB1. Our data show that IL-27 has direct antitumor capacity in ovarian cancer cells via enhancing apoptosis by inducing the STAT3 pathway and restraining the Akt pathway. Précis: IL-27 enhanced the cytotoxicity and suppressed the proliferation of ovarian cancer cells by activating STAT3 and inhibiting the Akt signal pathway. IL-27 plays an important role in antitumor activity against epithelial ovarian cancer.

Liang Y, Chen Q, Du W, et al.
Epstein-Barr Virus-Induced Gene 3 (EBI3) Blocking Leads to Induce Antitumor Cytotoxic T Lymphocyte Response and Suppress Tumor Growth in Colorectal Cancer by Bidirectional Reciprocal-Regulation STAT3 Signaling Pathway.
Mediators Inflamm. 2016; 2016:3214105 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Epstein-Barr virus-induced gene 3 (EBI3) is a member of the interleukin-12 (IL-12) family structural subunit and can form a heterodimer with IL-27p28 and IL-12p35 subunit to build IL-27 and IL-35, respectively. However, IL-27 stimulates whereas IL-35 inhibits antitumor T cell responses. To date, little is known about the role of EBI3 in tumor microenvironment. In this study, firstly we assessed EBI3, IL-27p28, IL-12p35, gp130, and p-STAT3 expression with clinicopathological parameters of colorectal cancer (CRC) tissues; then we evaluated the antitumor T cell responses and tumor growth with a EBI3 blocking peptide. We found that elevated EBI3 may be associated with IL-12p35, gp130, and p-STAT3 to promote CRC progression. EBI3 blocking peptide promoted antitumor cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response by inducing Granzyme B, IFN-γ production, and p-STAT3 expression and inhibited CRC cell proliferation and tumor growth to associate with suppressing gp130 and p-STAT3 expression. Taken together, these results suggest that EBI3 may mediate a bidirectional reciprocal-regulation STAT3 signaling pathway to assist the tumor escape immune surveillance in CRC.

Dibra D, Mitra A, Newman M, et al.
Lack of Immunomodulatory Interleukin-27 Enhances Oncogenic Properties of Mutant p53 In Vivo.
Clin Cancer Res. 2016; 22(15):3876-83 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: p53 is mutated in about 50% of human cancers, mostly through missense mutations. Expression of mutant p53 is associated with poor clinical outcomes or metastasis. Although mutant p53 is inherently instable, various stressors such as DNA damage or expression of the oncogenic Kras or c-myc affect the oncogenic properties of mutant p53. However, the effects of inflammation on mutant p53 are largely unknown. IL27 is an important immunomodulatory cytokine, but its impact on mutant p53-driven tumorigenesis has not been reported.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: IL27RA(-/-) mice were bred with mutant p53 heterozygous (p53(R172H/+)) mice to obtain IL27RA(-/-)p53(H/+) and IL27RA(-/-)p53(H/H) mice. Mouse survival and tumor spectra for the cohort were analyzed. Stability of p53 protein was analyzed via IHC and Western blot analysis.
RESULTS: This study unraveled that lack of IL27 signaling significantly shortened the survival duration of mice with tumors expressing both copies of the mutant p53 gene (Li-Fraumeni mouse model). Interestingly, in mice that were heterozygous for mutant p53, lack of IL27 signaling not only significantly shortened survival time but also doubled the incidence of osteosarcomas. Furthermore, lack of IL27 signaling is closely associated with increased mutant p53 stability in vivo from early age.
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that IL27 signaling modulates the oncogenic properties of mutant p53 in vivo Clin Cancer Res; 22(15); 3876-83. ©2016 AACR.

Wang GQ, Zhao WH, Zhao XX, et al.
Association between IL-27 2905T/G genotypes and the risk and survival of cervical cancer: a case-control study.
Biomarkers. 2016; 21(3):272-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Interleukin-27 (IL-27) has been recognized as a pleiotropic cytokine with both pro- and anti-inflammatory properties.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: A case-control study was conducted to investigate the possible associations of IL-27 gene polymorphisms with susceptibility to cervical cancer and clinical outcome.
RESULTS: Our results suggested that the IL-27 2905T/G was significantly associated with a decreased risk of cervical cancer. Further analysis showed IL-27 2905T/G genotypes were associated with advanced tumor stages of cervical cancer patients. More interestingly, the IL-27 2905T/G genotypes were statistically significantly associated with the survival in cervical cancer patients.
CONCLUSION: Our results showed that the IL-27 2905T/G genotypes were associated with decreased the susceptibility and development of cervical cancer in Chinese Han population.

Shi J, Yuan M, Liu S, et al.
Correlation of IL-27 genetic polymorphisms with the risk and survival of cervical cancer in a Chinese Han population.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(5):6875-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Interleukin-27 (IL-27) has been recognized as a pleiotropic cytokine with both pro- and anti-inflammatory properties. However, there are no data about the role of IL-27 polymorphism in the development of cervical cancer. A hospital-based case-control study was conducted in 380 patients with cervical cancer and 380 healthy controls to investigate the possible associations of IL-27 gene polymorphisms (-964A/G, 2905T/G, and 4730T/C), with susceptibility to cervical cancer and clinical outcome. Our results suggested that the IL-27 2905T/G was significantly associated with a decreased risk of cervical cancer (TG vs. TT, odds ratio (OR) = 0.77; 95 % confidence interval (CI) = 0.60-0.86; GG vs. TT, OR = 0.95; 95 % CI = 0.72-0.96; TG+GG vs. TT, OR = 0.87; 95 % CI = 0.65-0.94). However, the genotype and allele frequencies of IL-27 (-964A/G and 4730T/C) polymorphisms in cervical cancer patients were not significantly different from controls. Further analysis showed IL-27 2905T/G genotypes were associated with advanced tumor stages of cervical cancer patients. More interestingly, the IL-27 2905T/G genotypes were statistically significantly associated with the survival in cervical cancer patients. Our results showed that the IL-27 2905T/G genotypes were associated with decreased susceptibility and development of cervical cancer in Chinese Han population.

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.

Wang J, Tao Q, Wang H, et al.
Elevated IL-35 in bone marrow of the patients with acute myeloid leukemia.
Hum Immunol. 2015; 76(9):681-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is the most common hematological malignancy in adults, but the etiology of it remains poorly understood. IL-35 is a recently described cytokine composed of an IL-12 subunit p35 and an IL-27 subunit Epstein-Barr virus induced gene 3 (EBI3), and has an immunosuppressive effect on inflammation through induction of regulatory T cells (Tregs) and suppression of Th1 and Th17. Recently, we have illustrated that concentrations of IL-35 in peripheral blood are up-regulated in newly diagnosed (ND) AML patients. However, whether IL-35 in bone marrow is increased in AML patients is not clear. In this study, we examined IL-35 in bone marrow by various methods including RT-PCR, ELISA, FCM and IHC, and found that IL-35 levels are also increased significantly in bone marrow of adult AML patients. Furthermore, we investigated that concentrations of bone marrow IL-35 in ND group were higher than that in complete remission (CR) group and control group, but there was no significant difference compared to that in relapse group. In conclusion, IL-35 was elevated in bone marrow of adult AML patients and this increase was correlated with the clinical stages of malignancy, suggesting that IL-35 is involved in pathogenesis of AML.

Zhang M, Tan X, Huang J, et al.
Association of 3 Common Polymorphisms of IL-27 Gene with Susceptibility to Cancer in Chinese: Evidence From an Updated Meta-Analysis of 27 Studies.
Med Sci Monit. 2015; 21:2505-13 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Many epidemiology studies have indicated that several functional polymorphisms of the IL-27 gene may contribute to individual susceptibility to cancer. Nevertheless, the data arising from these studies were inconclusive. Therefore, we conducted the current meta-analysis aiming to elucidate the effects of IL-27 polymorphisms (rs153109, rs17855750, and rs181206) on cancer susceptibility.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: We searched the CNKI (Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure), Wanfang database, PubMed, Web of Science, and Google Scholar for all eligible publications. We used odds ratios (ORs) corresponding with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) by using the random/fixed-effects model to evaluate the association. Finally, a total of 12 publications, including 27 case-control studies comprising of 7570 patients and 9839 controls, were enrolled in our meta-analysis.
RESULTS: Our work demonstrates that IL-27 rs17855750 polymorphism is significantly associated with cancer susceptibility, particularly for bladder cancer. However, no association between IL-27 rs153109 and rs181206 polymorphisms and cancer susceptibility was identified. When a stratification analysis was performed by cancer type, we identified an increased susceptibility of bladder cancer in rs153109 polymorphism. Moreover, in the stratification analysis by genotyping method, we identified an increased susceptibility for PCR-RFLP group in rs17855750 polymorphism, whereas a decreased susceptibility was identified in rs153109 polymorphism.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study shows that IL-27 rs17855750 polymorphism is significantly associated with increased susceptibility to cancer in Chinese.

Pu Y, Chen P, Zhou B, et al.
Association between polymorphisms in IL27 gene and renal cell carcinoma.
Biomarkers. 2015; 20(3):202-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
CONTEXT: Interleukin-27 is a new member of the IL-12 family which plays an important role in human carcinogenesis.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether polymorphisms in IL27 contribute to renal cell carcinoma (RCC) risk.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: These two polymorphisms were genotyped in 329 RCC patients and 386 healthy controls by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP).
RESULTS: Significantly increased RCC risk was associated the G allele of both rs153109 and rs17855750 (rs153109: p = 0.006, OR = 1.364, 95%CI = 1.095-1.700; rs17855750: p = 0.001, OR = 1.768, 95%CI = 1.245-2.511).
CONCLUSION: The present study provided evidence that rs153109 and rs17855750 were associated with increased risk for RCC, suggesting an important role IL-27 may play in nephrocarcinogenesis.

Zhou B, Zhang P, Tang T, et al.
Polymorphisms and plasma levels of IL-27: impact on genetic susceptibility and clinical outcome of bladder cancer.
BMC Cancer. 2015; 15:433 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Interleukin-27 (IL-27) has been recognized as a pleiotropic cytokine with both pro- and anti-inflammatory properties. Few studies have investigated polymorphisms and serum/plasma levels of IL-27 in diseases including cancers. This study has analyzed the associations of IL-27 gene polymorphisms, as well as plasma levels of IL-27, with susceptibility to bladder cancer and clinical outcome.
METHODS: Three hundred and thirty-two patients (nonmuscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC)/muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC): 176/156) included in a 60-month follow-up program and 499 controls were enrolled. Two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), rs153109 and rs17855750, were genotyped by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) -restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) method. Plasma concentration of IL-27 was determined by ELISA in 124 patients (NMIBC/MIBC: 50/74) and 151 controls.
RESULTS: Significantly increased risk for bladder cancer was associated with AG/GG genotypes of rs153109 (P = 0.029). No GG genotype of rs17855750 was observed in controls, while 4 patients were found to be GG homozygotes, suggesting GG genotype may be associated with bladder cancer risk (P = 0.006). For bladder cancer patients, SNP rs17855750 was also associated with increased risk for MIBC. For MIBC patients, but not NMIBC, TG/GG genotypes of rs17855750 turned out to be a protective factor for overall survival (P = 0.035). Significantly reduced plasma levels of IL-27 were observed in both NMIBC and MIBC patients compared with controls (P < 0.0001).
CONCLUSION: Our data suggest that polymorphisms and reduced plasma levels of IL-27 may predict the susceptibility to bladder cancer, and rs17855750 may be a useful marker to distinguish patients with high risk of death.

Zhang S, Gao X, Wang Y, et al.
Interleukin 27 -964A > G genetic polymorphism and serum IL-27p28 levels in Chinese patients with papillary thyroid cancer.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(10):8207-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of this study was to investigate the association between a potentially functional polymorphism (rs153109, -964A > G) in the promoter region of interleukin-27 (IL-27) gene and the risk of papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) in a Chinese population. Genotype of IL-27 -964A > G polymorphism was determined using polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) analysis. Serum IL-27p28 levels were determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). No significant difference was noticed in IL-27 -964A > G polymorphism between PTC patients and healthy controls in the overall analysis. However, analysis of clinical features showed that PTC patients carrying the GG genotype or G allele had significantly decreased risks for developing lymph node metastasis compared with those carrying the AA genotype or A allele (GG vs. AA: OR = 0.38, 95 % CI, 0.20-0.72; G vs. A: OR = 0.63, 95 % CI, 0.44-0.86). Furthermore, ELISA results demonstrated that serum IL-27p28 levels were significantly decreased in PTC patients compared with those in controls (P < 0.05). Serum IL-27p28 levels in healthy controls with the GG genotype were significantly high compared with those carrying AA genotype or the AG genotype (P < 0.05). In conclusion, our results suggest that IL-27 -964A > G polymorphism may be associated with the decreased risk for lymph node metastasis of PTC.

Airoldi I, Tupone MG, Esposito S, et al.
Interleukin-27 re-educates intratumoral myeloid cells and down-regulates stemness genes in non-small cell lung cancer.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(6):3694-708 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Current therapies for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) still fail to significantly increase its survival rate. Here we asked whether Interleukin(IL)-27, which has revealed powerful antitumor activity and is toxicity-free in humans, is a promising therapeutic choice for NSCLC patients. IL-27's effects were tested on Adenocarcinoma (AC) and Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) cell lines and xenograft models. IL-27Receptor(R) expression was assessed in lung tissues from 78 NSCLC patients. In vitro, IL-27 was ineffective on cancer cell proliferation or apoptosis, but fostered CXCL3/GROγ/MIP2β expression. In vitro and in vivo, IL-27 down-regulated stemness-related genes, namely SONIC HEDGEHOG in AC cells, and OCT4A, SOX2, NOTCH1, KLF4 along with Nestin, SNAI1/SNAIL, SNAI2/SLUG and ZEB1, in SCC cells. In vivo, IL-27 hampered both AC and SCC tumor growth in association with a prominent granulocyte- and macrophage-driven colliquative necrosis, CXCL3 production, and a reduced pluripotency- and EMT-related gene expression. Myeloablation of tumor-bearing hosts mostly abolished IL-27's antitumor effects. In clinical samples, IL-27R expression was found in AC, SCC, pre-cancerous lesions and tumor infiltrating myeloid cells, and correlated with advanced stages of disease. Our data suggest that even immunocompromised or advancer NSCLC patients may benefit from IL-27's antitumor properties based on its ability to drive myeloid cells towards antitumor activities, and down-regulate stemness- and EMT-related genes in cancer cells.

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.

Xu XP, Hua LY, Chao HL, et al.
Genetic association between IL-27 rs153109 polymorphism and cancer risk in Chinese population: a meta-analysis.
J Recept Signal Transduct Res. 2017; 37(4):335-340 [PubMed] Related Publications
IL-27 plays an important role in anti-cancer activity. The -964A/G polymorphism in IL-27 gene has been implicated in susceptibility to cancer, but the results were conflicting. The aim of this study was to assess the association between this polymorphism and cancer risk. Pubmed and Wanfang database were searched for all publications concerning IL-27 -964A/G polymorphism and cancer risk. Odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were used to assess the strength of association. Statistical analysis was performed using Stata 11.0 software. A total of eight case-control studies including 2044 cancer cases and 2197 controls were identified. Overall, significant association between IL-27 -964A/G polymorphism and cancer risk was observed (GG versus AA: OR = 1.26, 95% CI = 1.03-1.52; GG versus AG + AA: OR = 1.20, 95% CI = 1.00-1.44). In subgroup analysis based on cancer type, significant association was found in colorectal cancer (GG versus AA: OR = 1.55, 95% CI = 1.07-2.27; AG versus AA: OR = 1.31, 95% CI = 1.02-1.67). The current meta-analysis suggests that IL-27 -964A/G polymorphism might enhance cancer risk. However, large-scale and well-designed studies are still needed to confirm the result of our meta-analysis. The association of IL-27 polymorphism with colorectal cancer may provide insight for future therapies.

Ren YB, Luo T, Li J, et al.
p28(GANK) associates with p300 to attenuate the acetylation of RelA.
Mol Carcinog. 2015; 54(12):1626-35 [PubMed] Related Publications
Oncoprotein p28(GANK), overexpressed in hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC), binds to RelA and retains NF-κB in the cytoplasm to suppress NF-κB transactivation. However, the mechanism has not yet been elucidated. In this study, we clarified the mechanism of NF-κB regulated by p28(GANK). p28(GANK) reduced TNF-α-induced nuclear translocation of RelA/NF-κB independent of HDAC3. p28(GANK) interacted with p300 to attenuate assembly of RelA with p300, which lessened acetylation of RelA on the lysine 310 sites. Moreover, overexpression of p28(GANK) attenuated the capability of NF-κB binding to the target gene IκBα promoter, but also weakened adriamycin-induced NF-κB pro-apoptotic gene Fas and FasL expression, which subsequently made p53-deficient tumor cells resistance to adriamycin. These results present mechanistic insight into the key role of p28(GANK) in post-translational regulation of RelA/NF-κB.

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