Gene Summary

Gene:IRF7; interferon regulatory factor 7
Aliases: IMD39, IRF7A, IRF7B, IRF7C, IRF7H, IRF-7H
Summary:IRF7 encodes interferon regulatory factor 7, a member of the interferon regulatory transcription factor (IRF) family. IRF7 has been shown to play a role in the transcriptional activation of virus-inducible cellular genes, including interferon beta chain genes. Inducible expression of IRF7 is largely restricted to lymphoid tissue. Multiple IRF7 transcript variants have been identified, although the functional consequences of these have not yet been established. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:interferon regulatory factor 7
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.

  • Bladder Cancer
  • Lung Cancer
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Radiation Tolerance
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Interferons
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • CpG Islands
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Cycle
  • DNA Methylation
  • Breast Cancer
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Interferon Regulatory Factor-7
  • Interferon Regulatory Factors
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transcriptional Activation
  • Epigenetics
  • RNA Interference
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Azacitidine
  • Transcription Factors
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Gene Silencing
  • Apoptosis
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Ubiquitination
  • Promoter Regions
  • Trans-Activators
  • Messenger RNA
  • Vesiculovirus
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Chromosome 11
  • MicroRNAs
  • Gene Expression Profiling
Tag cloud generated 09 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (4)

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: IRF7 (cancer-related)

Sun W, Ma X, Shen J, et al.
Bioinformatics analysis of differentially expressed pathways related to the metastatic characteristics of osteosarcoma.
Int J Mol Med. 2016; 38(2):466-74 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In this study, gene expression data of osteosarcoma (OSA) were analyzed to identify metastasis-related biological pathways. Four gene expression data sets (GSE21257, GSE9508, GSE49003 and GSE66673) were downloaded from Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO). An analysis of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) was performed using the Significance Analysis of Microarray (SAM) method. Gene expression levels were converted into scores of pathways by the Functional Analysis of Individual Microarray Expression (FAIME) algorithm and the differentially expressed pathways (DEPs) were then disclosed by a t-test. The distinguishing and prediction ability of the DEPs for metastatic and non-metastatic OSA was further confirmed using the principal component analysis (PCA) method and 3 gene expression data sets (GSE9508, GSE49003 and GSE66673) based on the support vector machines (SVM) model. A total of 616 downregulated and 681 upregulated genes were identified in the data set, GSE21257. The DEGs could not be used to distinguish metastatic OSA from non-metastatic OSA, as shown by PCA. Thus, an analysis of DEPs was further performed, resulting in 14 DEPs, such as NRAS signaling, Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) regulation of cytokines and tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor (TRAF)-mediated interferon regulatory factor 7 (IRF7) activation. Cluster analysis indicated that these pathways could be used to distinguish between metastatic OSA from non-metastatic OSA. The prediction accuracy was 91, 66.7 and 87.5% for the data sets, GSE9508, GSE49003 and GSE66673, respectively. The results of PCA further validated that the DEPs could be used to distinguish metastatic OSA from non-metastatic OSA. On the whole, several DEPs were identified in metastatic OSA compared with non-metastatic OSA. Further studies on these pathways and relevant genes may help to enhance our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying metastasis and may thus aid in the development of novel therapies.

Yuen CK, Chan CP, Fung SY, et al.
Suppression of Type I Interferon Production by Human T-Cell Leukemia Virus Type 1 Oncoprotein Tax through Inhibition of IRF3 Phosphorylation.
J Virol. 2016; 90(8):3902-12 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Infection with human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is associated with adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) and tropical spastic paraparesis. Type I interferons (IFNs) are key effectors of the innate antiviral response, and IFN-α combined with the nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor zidovudine is considered the standard first-line therapy for ATL. HTLV-1 oncoprotein Tax is known to suppress innate IFN production and response but the underlying mechanisms remain to be fully established. In this study, we report on the suppression of type I IFN production by HTLV-1 Tax through interaction with and inhibition of TBK1 kinase that phosphorylates IRF3. Induced transcription of IFN-β was severely impaired in HTLV-1-transformed ATL cells and freshly infected T lymphocytes. The ability to suppress IRF3 activation was ascribed to Tax. The expression of Tax alone sufficiently repressed the induction of IFN production by RIG-I plus PACT, cGAMP synthase plus STING, TBK1, IKKε, IRF3, and IRF7, but not by IRF3-5D, a dominant-active phosphomimetic mutant. This suggests that Tax perturbs IFN production at the step of IRF3 phosphorylation. Tax mutants deficient for CREB or NF-κB activation were fully competent in the suppression of IFN production. Coimmunoprecipitation experiments confirmed the association of Tax with TBK1, IKKε, STING, and IRF3.In vitrokinase assay indicated an inhibitory effect of Tax on TBK1-mediated phosphorylation of IRF3. Taken together, our findings suggested a new mechanism by which HTLV-1 oncoprotein Tax circumvents the production of type I IFNs in infected cells. Our findings have implications in therapeutic intervention of ATL.
IMPORTANCE: Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is the cause of adult T-cell leukemia (ATL), an aggressive and fatal blood cancer, as well as another chronic disabling disease of the spinal cord. Treatments are unsatisfactory, and options are limited. A combination of antiviral cellular protein alpha interferon and zidovudine, which is an inhibitor of a viral enzyme called reverse transcriptase, has been recommended as the standard first-line therapy for ATL. Exactly how HTLV-1 interacts with the cellular machinery for interferon production and action is not well understood. Our work sheds light on the mechanism of action for the inhibition of interferon production by an HTLV-1 oncogenic protein called Tax. Our findings might help to improve interferon-based anti-HTLV-1 and anti-ATL therapy.

Li Y, Huang R, Wang L, et al.
microRNA-762 promotes breast cancer cell proliferation and invasion by targeting IRF7 expression.
Cell Prolif. 2015; 48(6):643-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: miRNAs play crucial roles in human tumourigenesis. This study was performed to measure expression and function of miR-762 in breast cancer.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Expression of miR-762 in breast tissues and cell lines (SK-BR-3, DA-MB-435s, MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231, HBL-100) was measured by using real-time RT-PCR. We restored expression of miR-762 in MCF-7 cells to measure its functional roles. Luciferase assays were performed to reveal the target gene of miR-762.
RESULTS: Expression of miR-762 was high in both breast cancer cell lines and specimens, and its overexpression increased breast cancer cell proliferation and invasion. Interferon regulatory factor 7 (IRF7) is a direct target of miR-762 and overexpression of miR-762 reduced expression of IRF7. Moreover, IRF7 was repressed, its levels inversely correlated to miR-762 expression. IRF7 rescued miR-762-induced cell invasion and proliferation.
CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate that miR-762 tumour effect was achieved by targeting IRF7 in human breast cancer specimens.

Kochupurakkal BS, Wang ZC, Hua T, et al.
RelA-Induced Interferon Response Negatively Regulates Proliferation.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(10):e0140243 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Both oncogenic and tumor-suppressor activities are attributed to the Nuclear Factor kappa B (NF-kB) pathway. Moreover, NF-kB may positively or negatively regulate proliferation. The molecular determinants of these opposing roles of NF-kB are unclear. Using primary human mammary epithelial cells (HMEC) as a model, we show that increased RelA levels and consequent increase in basal transcriptional activity of RelA induces IRF1, a target gene. Induced IRF1 upregulates STAT1 and IRF7, and in consort, these factors induce the expression of interferon response genes. Activation of the interferon pathway down-regulates CDK4 and up-regulates p27 resulting in Rb hypo-phosphorylation and cell cycle arrest. Stimulation of HMEC with IFN-γ elicits similar phenotypic and molecular changes suggesting that basal activity of RelA and IFN-γ converge on IRF1 to regulate proliferation. The anti-proliferative RelA-IRF1-CDK4 signaling axis is retained in ER+/HER2- breast tumors analyzed by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). Using immuno-histochemical analysis of breast tumors, we confirm the negative correlation between RelA levels and proliferation rate in ER+/HER2- breast tumors. These findings attribute an anti-proliferative tumor-suppressor role to basal RelA activity. Inactivation of Rb, down-regulation of RelA or IRF1, or upregulation of CDK4 or IRF2 rescues the RelA-IRF1-CDK4 induced proliferation arrest in HMEC and are points of disruption in aggressive tumors. Activity of the RelA-IRF1-CDK4 axis may explain favorable response to CDK4/6 inhibition observed in patients with ER+ Rb competent tumors.

Fűri I, Kalmár A, Wichmann B, et al.
Cell Free DNA of Tumor Origin Induces a 'Metastatic' Expression Profile in HT-29 Cancer Cell Line.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(7):e0131699 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Epithelial cells in malignant conditions release DNA into the extracellular compartment. Cell free DNA of tumor origin may act as a ligand of DNA sensing mechanisms and mediate changes in epithelial-stromal interactions.
AIMS: To evaluate and compare the potential autocrine and paracrine regulatory effect of normal and malignant epithelial cell-related DNA on TLR9 and STING mediated pathways in HT-29 human colorectal adenocarcinoma cells and normal fibroblasts.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: DNA isolated from normal and tumorous colonic epithelia of fresh frozen surgically removed tissue samples was used for 24 and 6 hour treatment of HT-29 colon carcinoma and HDF-α fibroblast cells. Whole genome mRNA expression analysis and qRT-PCR was performed for the elements/members of TLR9 signaling pathway. Immunocytochemistry was performed for epithelial markers (i.e. CK20 and E-cadherin), DNA methyltransferase 3a (DNMT3a) and NFκB (for treated HDFα cells).
RESULTS: Administration of tumor derived DNA on HT29 cells resulted in significant (p<0.05) mRNA level alteration in 118 genes (logFc≥1, p≤0.05), including overexpression of metallothionein genes (i.e. MT1H, MT1X, MT1P2, MT2A), metastasis-associated genes (i.e. TACSTD2, MACC1, MALAT1), tumor biomarker (CEACAM5), metabolic genes (i.e. INSIG1, LIPG), messenger molecule genes (i.e. DAPP, CREB3L2). Increased protein levels of CK20, E-cadherin, and DNMT3a was observed after tumor DNA treatment in HT-29 cells. Healthy DNA treatment affected mRNA expression of 613 genes (logFc≥1, p≤0.05), including increased expression of key adaptor molecules of TLR9 pathway (e.g. MYD88, IRAK2, NFκB, IL8, IL-1β), STING pathway (ADAR, IRF7, CXCL10, CASP1) and the FGF2 gene.
CONCLUSIONS: DNA from tumorous colon epithelium, but not from the normal epithelial cells acts as a pro-metastatic factor to HT-29 cells through the overexpression of pro-metastatic genes through TLR9/MYD88 independent pathway. In contrast, DNA derived from healthy colonic epithelium induced TLR9 and STING signaling pathway in normal fibroblasts.

Hagner PR, Man HW, Fontanillo C, et al.
CC-122, a pleiotropic pathway modifier, mimics an interferon response and has antitumor activity in DLBCL.
Blood. 2015; 126(6):779-89 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cereblon (CRBN), a substrate receptor of the Cullin 4 RING E3 ubiquitin ligase complex, is the target of the immunomodulatory drugs lenalidomide and pomalidomide. Recently, it was demonstrated that binding of these drugs to CRBN promotes the ubiquitination and subsequent degradation of 2 common substrates, transcription factors Aiolos and Ikaros. Here we report that CC-122, a new chemical entity termed pleiotropic pathway modifier, binds CRBN and promotes degradation of Aiolos and Ikaros in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and T cells in vitro, in vivo, and in patients, resulting in both cell autonomous as well as immunostimulatory effects. In DLBCL cell lines, CC-122-induced degradation or short hairpin RNA-mediated knockdown of Aiolos and Ikaros correlates with increased transcription of interferon (IFN)-stimulated genes independent of IFN-α, -β, and -γ production and/or secretion and results in apoptosis in both activated B-cell (ABC) and germinal center B-cell DLBCL cell lines. Our results provide mechanistic insight into the cell-of-origin independent antilymphoma activity of CC-122, in contrast to the ABC subtype selective activity of lenalidomide.

Kumar S, Ingle H, Mishra S, et al.
IPS-1 differentially induces TRAIL, BCL2, BIRC3 and PRKCE in type I interferons-dependent and -independent anticancer activity.
Cell Death Dis. 2015; 6:e1758 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
RIG-I-like receptors are the key cytosolic sensors for RNA viruses and induce the production of type I interferons (IFN) and pro-inflammatory cytokines through a sole adaptor IFN-β promoter stimulator-1 (IPS-1) (also known as Cardif, MAVS and VISA) in antiviral innate immunity. These sensors also have a pivotal role in anticancer activity through induction of apoptosis. However, the mechanism for their anticancer activity is poorly understood. Here, we show that anticancer vaccine adjuvant, PolyIC (primarily sensed by MDA5) and the oncolytic virus, Newcastle disease virus (NDV) (sensed by RIG-I), induce anticancer activity. The ectopic expression of IPS-1 into type I IFN-responsive and non-responsive cancer cells induces anticancer activity. PolyIC transfection and NDV infection upregulate pro-apoptotic gene TRAIL and downregulate the anti-apoptotic genes BCL2, BIRC3 and PRKCE. Furthermore, stable knockdown of IPS-1, IRF3 or IRF7 in IFN-non-responsive cancer cells show reduced anticancer activity by suppressing apoptosis via TRAIL and anti-apoptotic genes. Collectively, our study shows that IPS-1 induces anticancer activity through upregulation of pro-apoptotic gene TRAIL and downregulation of the anti-apoptotic genes BCL2, BIRC3 and PRKCE via IRF3 and IRF7 in type I IFN-dependent and -independent manners.

Minter MR, Main BS, Brody KM, et al.
Soluble amyloid triggers a myeloid differentiation factor 88 and interferon regulatory factor 7 dependent neuronal type-1 interferon response in vitro.
J Neuroinflammation. 2015; 12:71 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Neuro-inflammation has long been implicated as a contributor to the progression of Alzheimer's disease in both humans and animal models. Type-1 interferons (IFNs) are pleiotropic cytokines critical in mediating the innate immune pro-inflammatory response. The production of type-1 IFNs following pathogen detection is, in part, through the activation of the toll-like receptors (TLRs) and subsequent signalling through myeloid differentiation factor-88 (Myd88) and interferon regulatory factors (IRFs). We have previously identified that neuronal type-1 IFN signalling, through the type-1 interferon alpha receptor-1 (IFNAR1), is detrimental in models of AD. Using an in vitro approach, this study investigated the TLR network as a potential production pathway for neuronal type-1 IFNs in response to Aβ.
METHODS: Wildtype and Myd88(-/-) primary cultured cortical and hippocampal neurons were treated with 2.5 μM Aβ1-42 for 24 to 72 h or 1 to 10 μM Aβ1-42 for 72 h. Human BE(2)M17 neuroblastoma cells stably expressing an IRF7 small hairpin RNA (shRNA) or negative control shRNA construct were subjected to 7.5 μM Aβ1-42/Aβ42-1 for 24 to 96 h, 2.5 to 15 μM Aβ1-42 for 96 h or 100 ng/ml LPS for 0.5 to 24 h. Q-PCR was used to analyse IFNα, IFNβ, IL-1β, IL-6 and TNFα mRNA transcript levels. Phosphorylation of STAT-3 was detected by Western blot analysis, and cell viability was assessed by MTS assay.
RESULTS: Reduced IFNα, IFNβ, IL-1β, IL-6 and TNFα expression was detected in Aβ1-42-treated Myd88(-/-) neurons compared to wildtype cells. This correlated with reduced phosphorylation of STAT-3, a downstream type-1 IFN signalling mediator. Significantly, Myd88(-/-) neuronal cultures were protected against Aβ1-42-induced neurotoxicity compared to wildtype as determined by MTS assay. Knockdown of IRF7 in M17 cells was sufficient in blocking IFNα, IFNβ and p-STAT-3 induction to both Aβ1-42 and the TLR4 agonist LPS. M17 IRF7 KD cells were also protected against Aβ1-42-induced cytotoxicity.
CONCLUSIONS: This study confirms that the neuronal type-1 IFN response to soluble amyloid is mediated primarily through TLRs. This production is dependent upon Myd88 and IRF7 signalling. This study suggests that targeting this pathway to modulate neuronal type-1 IFN levels may be beneficial in controlling Aβ-induced neurotoxicity.

Kim JK, Jin X, Ham SW, et al.
IRF7 promotes glioma cell invasion by inhibiting AGO2 expression.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(7):5561-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Interferon regulatory factor 7 (IRF7) is the master transcription factor that plays a pivotal role in the transcriptional activation of type I interferon genes in the inflammatory response. Our previous study revealed that IRF7 is an important regulator of tumor progression via the expression of inflammatory cytokines in glioma. Here, we report that IRF7 promotes glioma invasion and confers resistance to both chemotherapy and radiotherapy by inhibiting expression of argonaute 2 (AGO2), a regulator of microRNA biogenesis. We found that IRF7 and AGO2 expression levels were negatively correlated in patients with glioblastoma multiforme. Ectopic IRF7 expression led to a reduction in AGO2 expression, while depletion of IRF7 resulted in increased AGO2 expression in the LN-229 glioma cell line. In an in vitro invasion assay, IRF7 overexpression enhanced glioma cell invasion. Furthermore, reconstitution of AGO2 expression in IRF7-overexpressing cells led to decreased cell invasion, whereas the reduced invasion due to IRF7 depletion was rescued by AGO2 depletion. In addition, IRF7 induced chemoresistance and radioresistance of glioma cells by diminishing AGO2 expression. Finally, AGO2 depletion alone was sufficient to accelerate glioma cell invasion in vitro and in vivo, indicating that AGO2 regulates cancer cell invasion. Taken together, our results indicate that IRF7 promotes glioma cell invasion and both chemoresistance and radioresistance through AGO2 inhibition.

Chen L, Liu T, Zhou J, et al.
Citrate synthase expression affects tumor phenotype and drug resistance in human ovarian carcinoma.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(12):e115708 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Citrate synthase (CS), one of the key enzymes in the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, catalyzes the reaction between oxaloacetic acid and acetyl coenzyme A to generate citrate. Increased CS has been observed in pancreatic cancer. In this study, we found higher CS expression in malignant ovarian tumors and ovarian cancer cell lines compared to benign ovarian tumors and normal human ovarian surface epithelium, respectively. CS knockdown by RNAi could result in the reduction of cell proliferation, and inhibition of invasion and migration of ovarian cancer cells in vitro. The drug resistance was also inhibited possibly through an excision repair cross complementing 1 (ERCC1)-dependent mechanism. Finally, upon CS knockdown we observed significant increase expression of multiple genes, including ISG15, IRF7, CASP7, and DDX58 in SKOV3 and A2780 cells by microarray analysis and real-time PCR. Taken together, these results suggested that CS might represent a potential therapeutic target for ovarian carcinoma.

Makovski V, Jacob-Hirsch J, Gefen-Dor C, et al.
Analysis of gene expression array in TSC2-deficient AML cells reveals IRF7 as a pivotal factor in the Rheb/mTOR pathway.
Cell Death Dis. 2014; 5:e1557 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Mutations in tuberous sclerosis (TSC) genes cause the genetic disorder TSC, as well as other neoplasms, including lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) and angiomyolipomas (AMLs). AMLs are benign renal tumors occur both in sporadic LAM and in TSC. As they carry the same mutations, AML cell lines serve as a model for TSC and LAM. Rheb/mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) pathway is chronically activated in TSC-deficient cells, and this activation can be diminished using the appropriate inhibitors. Rapamycin (sirolimus) is a known specific inhibitor of mTORC1, whereas S-trans,trans-farnesylthiosalicylic acid (FTS; salirasib) has been shown to inhibit Rheb. To examine the effect of the Rheb/mTOR inhibition pathway, we used human TSC2-deficient AML cells, derived from a LAM patient. FTS indeed inhibited Rheb in these cells and attenuated their proliferation. After comparative treatments with FTS or rapamycin or by re-expression of TSC2, we carried out a gene array analysis. This yielded a substantial number of commonly altered genes, many of which we identified as downstream targets of the interferon (IFN) regulatory factor 7 (IRF7) transcription factor, a central activator of the IFN type 1 immune response. Furthermore, nuclear localization of IRF7 was impaired by each of the three treatments. Interestingly, the phenomena seen on FTS or rapamycin treatment were selective for TSC2-deficient cells. Moreover, knockdown of IRF7 by siRNA mimicked the decrease in number of the abovementioned genes and also inhibited AML cell proliferation. Altogether, these findings support FTS as a potential treatment for TSC and its related pathologies and IRF7 as a novel target for treatment.

Lu S, Pardini B, Cheng B, et al.
Single nucleotide polymorphisms within interferon signaling pathway genes are associated with colorectal cancer susceptibility and survival.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(10):e111061 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Interferon (IFN) signaling has been suggested to play an important role in colorectal carcinogenesis. Our study aimed to examine potentially functional genetic variants in interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3), IRF5, IRF7, type I and type II IFN and their receptor genes with respect to colorectal cancer (CRC) risk and clinical outcome. Altogether 74 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were covered by the 34 SNPs genotyped in a hospital-based case-control study of 1327 CRC cases and 758 healthy controls from the Czech Republic. We also analyzed these SNPs in relation to overall survival and event-free survival in a subgroup of 483 patients. Seven SNPs in IFNA1, IFNA13, IFNA21, IFNK, IFNAR1 and IFNGR1 were associated with CRC risk. After multiple testing correction, the associations with the SNPs rs2856968 (IFNAR1) and rs2234711 (IFNGR1) remained formally significant (P = 0.0015 and P<0.0001, respectively). Multivariable survival analyses showed that the SNP rs6475526 (IFNA7/IFNA14) was associated with overall survival of the patients (P = 0.041 and event-free survival among patients without distant metastasis at the time of diagnosis, P = 0.034). The hazard ratios (HRs) for rs6475526 remained statistically significant even after adjustment for age, gender, grade and stage (P = 0.029 and P = 0.036, respectively), suggesting that rs6475526 is an independent prognostic marker for CRC. Our data suggest that genetic variation in the IFN signaling pathway genes may play a role in the etiology and survival of CRC and further studies are warranted.

Xu D, Zhang Y, Zhao L, et al.
Interferon regulatory factor 7 is involved in the growth of Epstein-Barr virus-transformed human B lymphocytes.
Virus Res. 2015; 195:112-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
The cellular interferon (IFN) regulatory factor-7 (IRF7) is closely associated with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-mediated transformation of B lymphocytes in vitro and in vivo. However, the exact role of IRF7 in viral transformation is not clear. We have found that knockdown of IRF7 leads to growth inhibition of EBV-transformed cells, and restoration of IRF7 by exogenous plasmid correlates with growth recovery of the viral transformed cells. In addition, IRF7-knockdown cells have a lower proliferation but a higher apoptotic rate than control cells. Moreover, reduction of IRF7 leads to reduction of major viral oncoprotein, latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1). Our data suggest that IRF7 may be a factor in EBV transformation and a useful target in the therapy of EBV-mediated neoplasia.

Wang W, Meng M, Zhang Y, et al.
Global transcriptome-wide analysis of CIK cells identify distinct roles of IL-2 and IL-15 in acquisition of cytotoxic capacity against tumor.
BMC Med Genomics. 2014; 7:49 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cells are an emerging approach of cancer treatment. Our previous study have shown that CIK cells stimulated with combination of IL-2 and IL-15 displayed improved proliferation capacity and tumor cytotoxicity. However, the mechanisms of CIK cell proliferation and acquisition of cytolytic function against tumor induced by IL-2 and IL-15 have not been well elucidated yet.
METHODS: CIK(IL-2) and CIK(IL-15) were generated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells primed with IFN-γ, and stimulated with IL-2 and IL-15 in combination with OKT3 respectively. RNA-seq was performed to identify differentially expressed genes, and gene ontology and pathways based analysis were used to identify the distinct roles of IL-2 and IL-15 in CIK preparation.
RESULTS: The results indicated that CIKIL-15 showed improved cell proliferation capacity compared to CIK(IL-2). However, CIK(IL-2) has exhibited greater tumor cytotoxic effect than CIKIL-15. Employing deep sequencing, we sequenced mRNA transcripts in CIK(IL-2) and CIK(IL-15). A total of 374 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified including 175 up-regulated genes in CIK(IL-15) and 199 up-regulated genes in CIK(IL-2)). Among DEGs in CIK(IL-15), Wnt signaling and cell adhesion were significant GO terms and pathways which related with their functions. In CIK(IL-2, type I interferon signaling and cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction were significant GO terms and pathways. We found that the up-regulation of Wnt 4 and PDGFD may contribute to enhanced cell proliferation capacity of CIK(IL-15), while inhibitory signal from interaction between CTLA4 and CD80 may be responsible for the weak proliferation capacity of CIK(IL-2). Moreover, up-regulated expressions of CD40LG and IRF7 may make for improved tumor cytolytic function of CIK(IL-2) through type I interferon signaling.
CONCLUSIONS: Through our findings, we have preliminarily elucidated the cells proliferation and acquisition of tumor cytotoxicity mechanism of CIK(IL-15) and CIK(IL-2). Better understanding of these mechanisms will help to generate novel CIK cells with greater proliferation potential and improved tumor cytolytic function.

Wrangle J, Wang W, Koch A, et al.
Alterations of immune response of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer with Azacytidine.
Oncotarget. 2013; 4(11):2067-79 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Innovative therapies are needed for advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC). We have undertaken a genomics based, hypothesis driving, approach to query an emerging potential that epigenetic therapy may sensitize to immune checkpoint therapy targeting PD-L1/PD-1 interaction. NSCLC cell lines were treated with the DNA hypomethylating agent azacytidine (AZA - Vidaza) and genes and pathways altered were mapped by genome-wide expression and DNA methylation analyses. AZA-induced pathways were analyzed in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project by mapping the derived gene signatures in hundreds of lung adeno (LUAD) and squamous cell carcinoma (LUSC) samples. AZA up-regulates genes and pathways related to both innate and adaptive immunity and genes related to immune evasion in a several NSCLC lines. DNA hypermethylation and low expression of IRF7, an interferon transcription factor, tracks with this signature particularly in LUSC. In concert with these events, AZA up-regulates PD-L1 transcripts and protein, a key ligand-mediator of immune tolerance. Analysis of TCGA samples demonstrates that a significant proportion of primary NSCLC have low expression of AZA-induced immune genes, including PD-L1. We hypothesize that epigenetic therapy combined with blockade of immune checkpoints - in particular the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway - may augment response of NSCLC by shifting the balance between immune activation and immune inhibition, particularly in a subset of NSCLC with low expression of these pathways. Our studies define a biomarker strategy for response in a recently initiated trial to examine the potential of epigenetic therapy to sensitize patients with NSCLC to PD-1 immune checkpoint blockade.

Ettahar A, Ferrigno O, Zhang MZ, et al.
Identification of PHRF1 as a tumor suppressor that promotes the TGF-β cytostatic program through selective release of TGIF-driven PML inactivation.
Cell Rep. 2013; 4(3):530-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
The homeodomain protein TGIF (TG-interacting factor) restricts TGF-β/Smad cytostatic signaling by interfering with the nucleocytoplasmic transit of the tumor suppressor cPML. Here, we identify PHRF1 as a ubiquitin ligase that enforces TGIF decay by driving its ubiquitination at lysine 130. In so doing, PHRF1 ensures redistribution of cPML into the cytoplasm, where it associates with SARA and coordinates activation of Smad2 by the TGF-β receptor. The PHRF1 gene resides within the tumor suppressor locus 11p15.5, which displays frequent loss in a wide variety of malignancies, including breast cancer. Remarkably, we found that the PHRF1 gene is deleted or silenced in a high proportion of human breast cancer samples and cancer cell lines. Reconstitution of PHRF1 into deficient cells impeded their propensity to form tumors in vivo, most likely because of the reemergence of TGF-β responsiveness. These findings unveil a paradigm behind inactivation of the cPML tumor suppressor network in human malignancies.

Ersing I, Bernhardt K, Gewurz BE
NF-κB and IRF7 pathway activation by Epstein-Barr virus Latent Membrane Protein 1.
Viruses. 2013; 5(6):1587-606 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The principal Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) oncoprotein, Latent Membrane Protein 1 (LMP1), is expressed in most EBV-associated human malignancies. LMP1 mimics CD40 receptor signaling to provide infected cells with constitutive NF-κB, MAP kinase, IRF7, and PI3 kinase pathway stimulation. EBV-transformed B-cells are particularly dependent on constitutive NF-κB activity, and rapidly undergo apoptosis upon NF-κB blockade. Here, we review LMP1 function, with special attention to current understanding of the molecular mechanisms of LMP1-mediated NF-κB and IRF7 pathway activation. Recent advances include the elucidation of transmembrane motifs important for LMP1 trafficking and ligand-independent signaling, analysis of genome-wide LMP1 gene targets, and the identification of novel cell proteins that mediate LMP1 NF-κB and IRF7 pathway activation.

Bidwell BN, Slaney CY, Withana NP, et al.
Silencing of Irf7 pathways in breast cancer cells promotes bone metastasis through immune escape.
Nat Med. 2012; 18(8):1224-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer metastasis is a key determinant of long-term patient survival. By comparing the transcriptomes of primary and metastatic tumor cells in a mouse model of spontaneous bone metastasis, we found that a substantial number of genes suppressed in bone metastases are targets of the interferon regulatory factor Irf7. Restoration of Irf7 in tumor cells or administration of interferon led to reduced bone metastases and prolonged survival time. In mice deficient in the interferon (IFN) receptor or in natural killer (NK) and CD8(+) T cell responses, metastasis was accelerated, indicating that Irf7-driven suppression of metastasis was reliant on IFN signaling to host immune cells. We confirmed the clinical relevance of these findings in over 800 patients in which high expression of Irf7-regulated genes in primary tumors was associated with prolonged bone metastasis-free survival. This gene signature may identify patients that could benefit from IFN-based therapies. Thus, we have identified an innate immune pathway intrinsic to breast cancer cells, the suppression of which restricts immunosurveillance to enable metastasis.

Yang Y, Shaffer AL, Emre NC, et al.
Exploiting synthetic lethality for the therapy of ABC diffuse large B cell lymphoma.
Cancer Cell. 2012; 21(6):723-37 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Knowledge of oncogenic mutations can inspire therapeutic strategies that are synthetically lethal, affecting cancer cells while sparing normal cells. Lenalidomide is an active agent in the activated B cell-like (ABC) subtype of diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL), but its mechanism of action is unknown. Lenalidomide kills ABC DLBCL cells by augmenting interferon β (IFNβ) production, owing to the oncogenic MYD88 mutations in these lymphomas. In a cereblon-dependent fashion, lenalidomide downregulates IRF4 and SPIB, transcription factors that together prevent IFNβ production by repressing IRF7 and amplify prosurvival NF-κB signaling by transactivating CARD11. Blockade of B cell receptor signaling using the BTK inhibitor ibrutinib also downregulates IRF4 and consequently synergizes with lenalidomide in killing ABC DLBCLs, suggesting attractive therapeutic strategies.

Génin P, Lin R, Hiscott J, Civas A
Recruitment of histone deacetylase 3 to the interferon-A gene promoters attenuates interferon expression.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(6):e38336 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Induction of Type I Interferon (IFN) genes constitutes an essential step leading to innate immune responses during virus infection. Sendai virus (SeV) infection of B lymphoid Namalwa cells transiently induces the transcriptional expression of multiple IFN-A genes. Although transcriptional activation of IFN-A genes has been extensively studied, the mechanism responsible for the attenuation of their expression remains to be determined.
PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study, we demonstrate that virus infection of Namalwa cells induces transient recruitment of HDAC3 (histone deacetylase 3) to IFN-A promoters. Analysis of chromatin-protein association by Chip-QPCR demonstrated that recruitment of interferon regulatory factor (IRF)3 and IRF7, as well as TBP correlated with enhanced histone H3K9 and H3K14 acetylation, whereas recruitment of HDAC3 correlated with inhibition of histone H3K9/K14 acetylation, removal of IRF7 and TATA-binding protein (TBP) from IFN-A promoters and inhibition of virus-induced IFN-A gene transcription. Additionally, HDAC3 overexpression reduced, and HDAC3 depletion by siRNA enhanced IFN-A gene expression. Furthermore, activation of IRF7 enhanced histone H3K9/K14 acetylation and IFN-A gene expression, whereas activation of both IRF7 and IRF3 led to recruitment of HDAC3 to the IFN-A gene promoters, resulting in impaired histone H3K9 acetylation and attenuation of IFN-A gene transcription.
CONCLUSION: Altogether these data indicate that reversal of histone H3K9/K14 acetylation by HDAC3 is required for attenuation of IFN-A gene transcription during viral infection.

Moschonas A, Ioannou M, Eliopoulos AG
CD40 stimulates a "feed-forward" NF-κB-driven molecular pathway that regulates IFN-β expression in carcinoma cells.
J Immunol. 2012; 188(11):5521-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
IFN-β and the CD40L (CD154) share important roles in the antiviral and antitumor immune responses. In this study, we show that CD40 receptor occupancy results in IFN-β upregulation through an unconventional "feed-forward" mechanism, which is orchestrated by canonical NF-κB and involves the sequential de novo synthesis of IFN regulatory factor (IRF)1 and Viperin (RSAD2), an IRF1 target. RelA (p65) NF-κB, IRF1, and Viperin-dependent IRF7 binding to the IFN-β promoter largely controls its activity. However, full activation of IFN-β also requires the parallel engagement of noncanonical NF-κB2 signaling leading to p52 recruitment to the IFN-β promoter. These data define a novel link between CD40 signaling and IFN-β expression and provide a telling example of how signal propagation can be exploited to ensure efficient regulation of gene expression.

Magnusson C, Bengtsson AM, Liu M, et al.
Regulation of cysteinyl leukotriene receptor 2 expression--a potential anti-tumor mechanism.
PLoS One. 2011; 6(12):e29060 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The cysteinyl leukotrienes receptors (CysLTRs) are implicated in many different pathological conditions, such as inflammation and cancer. We have previously shown that colon cancer patients with high CysLT(1)R and low CysLT(2)R expression demonstrate poor prognosis. Therefore, we wanted to investigate ways for the transcriptional regulation of CysLT(2)R, which still remains to be poorly understood.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We investigated the potential role of the anti-tumorigenic interferon α (IFN-α) and the mitogenic epidermal growth factor (EGF) on CysLT(2)R regulation using non-transformed intestinal epithelial cell lines and colon cancer cells to elucidate the effects on the CysLT(2)R expression and regulation. This was done using Western blot, qPCR, luciferase reporter assay and a colon cancer patient array. We found a binding site for the transcription factor IRF-7 in the putative promoter region of CysLT(2)R. This site was involved in the IFN-α induced activity of the CysLT(2)R luciferase reporter assay. In addition, IFN-α induced the activity of the differentiation marker alkaline phosphatase along with the expression of mucin-2, which protects the epithelial layer from damage. Interestingly, EGF suppressed both the expression and promoter activity of the CysLT(2)R. E-boxes present in the CysLT(2)R putative promoter region were involved in the suppressing effect. CysLT(2)R signaling was able to suppress cell migration that was induced by EGF signaling.
CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The patient array showed that aggressive tumors generally expressed less IFN-α receptor and more EGFR. Interestingly, there was a negative correlation between CysLT(2)R and EGFR expression. Our data strengthens the idea that there is a protective role against tumor progression for CysLT(2)R and that it highlights new possibilities to regulate the CysLT(2)R.

Li Q, Tainsky MA
Epigenetic silencing of IRF7 and/or IRF5 in lung cancer cells leads to increased sensitivity to oncolytic viruses.
PLoS One. 2011; 6(12):e28683 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Defective IFN signaling results in loss of innate immunity and sensitizes cells to enhanced cytolytic killing after Vesticular Stomatitis Virus (VSV) infection. Examination of the innate immunity status of normal human bronchial epithelial cells Beas2B and 7 lung cancer cells revealed that the abrogation of IFN signaling in cancer cells is associated with greater sensitivity to VSV infection. The disruption of the IFN pathway in lung cancer cell lines and primary tumor tissues is caused by epigenetic silencing of critical interferon responsive transcription factors IRF7 and/or IRF5. Although 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine treatment fails to reactivate IRF7 and IRF5 expression or protect cells from VSV infection, manipulating IFN signaling by altering IRF expression changes the viral susceptibility of these cells. Lung cancer cells can be partially protected from viral killing using IRF5+IRF7 overexpression, whereas IFN pathway disruption by transfection of siRNAs to IRF5+IRF7 increases cells' vulnerability to viral infection. Therefore, IRF5 and IRF7 are key transcription factors in IFN pathway that determine viral sensitivity of lung cancer cells; the epigenetically impaired IFN pathway in lung cancer tissues provides potential biomarkers for successful selective killing of cancer cells by oncolytic viral therapy.

Lee J, Li L, Gretz N, et al.
Absent in Melanoma 2 (AIM2) is an important mediator of interferon-dependent and -independent HLA-DRA and HLA-DRB gene expression in colorectal cancers.
Oncogene. 2012; 31(10):1242-53 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Absent in Melanoma 2 (AIM2) is a member of the HIN-200 family of hematopoietic, IFN-inducible, nuclear proteins, associated with both, infection defense and tumor pathology. Recently, AIM2 was found to act as a DNA sensor in innate immunity. In addition, we and others have previously demonstrated a high frequency of AIM2-alterations in microsatellite unstable (MSI-H) tumors. To further elucidate AIM2 function in colorectal tumors, we here addressed AIM2-responsive target genes by microarray based gene expression profiling of 22 244 human genes. A total of 111 transcripts were significantly upregulated, whereas 80 transcripts turned out to be significantly downregulated in HCT116 cells, constitutively expressing AIM2, compared with AIM2-negative cells. Among the upregulated genes that were validated by quantitative PCR and western blotting we recognized several interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs: IFIT1, IFIT2, IFIT3, IFI6, IRF7, ISG15, HLA-DRA, HLA-DRB, TLR3 and CIITA), as well as genes involved in intercellular adhesion and matrix remodeling. Expression of ISGs correlated with expression of AIM2 in 10 different IFN-γ treated colorectal cancer cell lines. Moreover, small interfering RNA-mediated knock-down of AIM2 resulted in reduced expression of HLA-DRA, HLA-DRB and CIITA in IFN-γ-treated cells. IFN-γ independent induction of HLA-DR genes and their encoded proteins was also demonstrated upon doxycyclin-regulated transient induction of AIM2. Luciferase reporter assays revealed induction of the HLA-DR promoter upon AIM2 transfection in different cell lines. STAT-signaling was not involved in IFN-γ independent induction of ISGs, arguing against participation of cytokines released in an autostimulating manner. Our data indicate that AIM2 mediates both IFN-γ dependent and independent induction of several ISGs, including genes encoding the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II antigens HLA-DR-α and -β. This suggests a novel role of the IFN/AIM2/ISG cascade likewise in cancer cells.

Wang L, Toomey NL, Diaz LA, et al.
Oncogenic IRFs provide a survival advantage for Epstein-Barr virus- or human T-cell leukemia virus type 1-transformed cells through induction of BIC expression.
J Virol. 2011; 85(16):8328-37 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
miR-155, processed from the B-cell integration cluster (BIC), is one of the few well-studied microRNAs (miRNAs) and is involved in both innate immunity and tumorigenesis. BIC/miR-155 is induced by distinct signaling pathways, but little is known about the underlying mechanisms. We have identified two conserved potential interferon (IFN) regulatory factor (IRF)-binding/interferon-stimulated response element motifs in the Bic gene promoter. Two oncogenic IRFs, IRF4 and -7, in addition to some other members of the family, bind to and significantly transactivate the Bic promoter. Correspondingly, the endogenous levels of IRF4 and -7 are correlated with that of the BIC transcript in Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-transformed cells. However, RNA interference studies have shown that depletion of IRF4, rather than of IRF7, dramatically decreases the endogenous level of BIC by up to 70% in EBV- or human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV1)-transformed cell lines and results in apoptosis and reduction of proliferation rates that are restored by transient expression of miR-155. Moreover, the endogenous levels of the miR-155 target, SHIP1, are consistently elevated in EBV- and HTLV1-transformed cell lines stably expressing shIRF4. In contrast, transient expression of IRF4 decreases the SHIP1 level in EBV-negative B cells. Furthermore, the level of IRF4 mRNA is significantly correlated with that of BIC in adult T-cell lymphoma/leukemia (ATLL) tumors. These results show that IRF4 plays an important role in the regulation of BIC in the context of EBV and HTLV1 infection. Our findings have identified Bic as the first miRNA-encoding gene for IRFs and provide evidence for a novel molecular mechanism underlying the IRF/BIC pathway in viral oncogenesis.

Havelange V, Stauffer N, Heaphy CC, et al.
Functional implications of microRNAs in acute myeloid leukemia by integrating microRNA and messenger RNA expression profiling.
Cancer. 2011; 117(20):4696-706 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) is deregulated in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), but the corresponding functional miRNA-controlled pathways are poorly understood. Integration of messenger RNA (mRNA) and miRNA expression profiling may allow the identification of functional links between the whole transcriptome and microRNome that are involved in myeloid leukemogenesis.
METHODS: We integrated miRNA and mRNA expression profiles obtained from 48 newly diagnosed AML patients by using 2 different microarray platforms and performed correlation, gene ontology, and network analysis. Experimental validation was also performed in AML cell lines using miRNA oligonucleotide mimics and functional assays.
RESULTS: Our analysis identified a strong positive correlation between HOX-related genes and miR-10 and miR-20a. Furthermore, we observed a negative correlation between miR-181a and miR-181b, miR-155, and miR-146 expression with that of genes involved in immunity and inflammation (eg, IRF7 and TLR4) and a positive correlation between miR-23a, miR-26a, miR-128a, and miR-145 expression with that of proapoptotic genes (eg, BIM and PTEN). These correlations were confirmed by gene ontology analyses, which revealed the enrichment of members of the homeobox, immunity and inflammation, and apoptosis biological processes. Furthermore, we validated experimentally the association of miR-145, miR-26a, and miR-128a with apoptosis in AML.
CONCLUSION: Our results indicate that by integrating the transcriptome and microRNome in AML cells, it is possible to identify previously unidentified putative functional miRNA-mRNA interactions in AML.

Liang D, Gao Y, Lin X, et al.
A human herpesvirus miRNA attenuates interferon signaling and contributes to maintenance of viral latency by targeting IKKε.
Cell Res. 2011; 21(5):793-806 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Type I interferon (IFN) signaling is the principal response mediating antiviral innate immunity. IFN transcription is dependent upon the activation of transcription factors IRF3/IRF7 and NF-κB. Many viral proteins have been shown as being capable of interfering with IFN signaling to facilitate evasion from the host innate immune response. Here, we report that a viral miRNA, miR-K12-11, encoded by Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is critical for the modulation of IFN signaling and acts through targeting I-kappa-B kinase epsilon (IKKɛ). Ectopic expression of miR-K12-11 resulted in decreased IKKɛ expression, while inhibition of miR-K12-11 was found to restore IKKɛ expression in KSHV-infected cells. Importantly, expression of miR-K12-11 attenuated IFN signaling by decreasing IKKɛ-mediated IRF3/IRF7 phosphorylation and by inhibiting the activation of IKKɛ-dependent IFN stimulating genes (ISGs), allowing miR-K12-11 suppression of antiviral immunity. Our data suggest that IKKɛ targeting by miR-K12-11 is an important strategy utilized by KSHV to modulate IFN signaling during the KSHV lifecycle, especially in latency. We also demonstrated that IKKɛ was able to enhance KSHV reactivation synergistically with the treatment of 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate. Moreover, inhibition of miR-K12-11 enhanced KSHV reactivation induced by vesicular stomatitis virus infection. Taken together, our findings also suggest that miR-K12-11 can contribute to maintenance of KSHV latency by targeting IKKɛ.

Li Q, Tainsky MA
Higher miRNA tolerance in immortal Li-Fraumeni fibroblasts with abrogated interferon signaling pathway.
Cancer Res. 2011; 71(1):255-65 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The IFN pathway is abrogated in fibroblasts from Li-Fraumeni syndrome (LFS) patients during spontaneous cellular immortalization, a necessary step in carcinogenesis. Microarray profiling of differentially expressed microRNAs (miRNA) revealed that most miRNAs were upregulated in IFN pathway-defective MDAH087-10 fibroblasts compared with MDAH087-N cells with relatively normal IFN signaling. Overexpression of Dicer, a critical enzyme in miRNA biogenesis, promoted cell growth and colony formation in MDAH087-10 cells. However, double-stranded miRNA produced by Dicer enhanced the expression of IFN-stimulated genes in MDAH087-N cells resulting in significant cell death and reduced cell growth. Furthermore, manipulation of the IFN pathway in immortal LFS fibroblasts through transcription factor IRF7 reversed their response to Dicer overexpression due to changed IFN pathway activity. Dicer overexpressing MDAH087-N cells contained lower levels of miRNA than vector control, and conversely much higher miRNA expression was detected in Dicer-transfected MDAH087-10 cells. Therefore, cells with a defective IFN pathway have a higher miRNA tolerance than cells with normal IFN pathway. This work indicates for the first time that the IFN pathway as mediated through the transcription factor IRF7 must be disrupted to permit miRNA upregulation to occur in early carcinogenesis. The IFN pathway appears to provide a checkpoint for miRNA level tolerance and its abrogation leads to cellular immortalization.

Zhu FX, Sathish N, Yuan Y
Antagonism of host antiviral responses by Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus tegument protein ORF45.
PLoS One. 2010; 5(5):e10573 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Virus infection of a cell generally evokes an immune response by the host to defeat the intruder in its effort. Many viruses have developed an array of strategies to evade or antagonize host antiviral responses. Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is demonstrated in this report to be able to prevent activation of host antiviral defense mechanisms upon infection. Cells infected with wild-type KSHV were permissive for superinfection with vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), suggesting that KSHV virions fail to induce host antiviral responses. We previously showed that ORF45, a KSHV immediate-early protein as well as a tegument protein of virions, interacts with IRF-7 and inhibits virus-mediated type I interferon induction by blocking IRF-7 phosphorylation and nuclear translocation (Zhu et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 99:5573-5578, 2002). Here, using an ORF45-null recombinant virus, we demonstrate a profound role of ORF45 in inhibiting host antiviral responses. Infection of cells with an ORF45-null mutant recombinant KSHV (BAC-stop45) triggered an immune response that resisted VSV super-infection, concomitantly associated with appreciable increases in transcription of type I IFN and downstream anti-viral effector genes. Gain-of-function analysis showed that ectopic expression of ORF45 in human fibroblast cells by a lentivirus vector decreased the antiviral responses of the cells. shRNA-mediated silencing of IRF-7, that predominantly regulates both the early and late phase induction of type I IFNs, clearly indicated its critical contribution to the innate antiviral responses generated against incoming KSHV particles. Thus ORF45 through its targeting of the crucial IRF-7 regulated type I IFN antiviral responses significantly contributes to the KSHV survival immediately following a primary infection allowing for progression onto subsequent stages in its life-cycle.

Ivanova AV, Ivanov SV, Prudkin L, et al.
Mechanisms of FUS1/TUSC2 deficiency in mesothelioma and its tumorigenic transcriptional effects.
Mol Cancer. 2009; 8:91 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: FUS1/TUSC2 is a novel tumor suppressor located in the critical 3p21.3 chromosomal region frequently deleted in multiple cancers. We previously showed that Tusc2-deficient mice display a complex immuno-inflammatory phenotype with a predisposition to cancer. The goal of this study was to analyze possible involvement of TUSC2 in malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) - an aggressive inflammatory cancer associated with exposure to asbestos.
METHODS: TUSC2 insufficiency in clinical specimens of MPM was assessed via RT-PCR (mRNA level), Representational Oligonucleotide Microarray Analysis (DNA level), and immunohistochemical evaluation (protein level). A possible link between TUSC2 expression and exposure to asbestos was studied using asbestos-treated mesothelial cells and ROS (reactive oxygen species) scavengers. Transcripional effects of TUSC2 in MPM were assessed through expression array analysis of TUSC2-transfected MPM cells.
RESULTS: Expression of TUSC2 was downregulated in approximately 84% of MM specimens while loss of TUSC2-containing 3p21.3 region observed in approximately 36% of MPMs including stage 1 tumors. Exposure to asbestos led to a transcriptional suppression of TUSC2, which we found to be ROS-dependent. Expression array studies showed that TUSC2 activates transcription of multiple genes with tumor suppressor properties and down-regulates pro-tumorigenic genes, thus supporting its role as a tumor suppressor. In agreement with our knockout model, TUSC2 up-regulated IL-15 and also modulated more than 40 other genes (approximately 20% of total TUSC2-affected genes) associated with immune system. Among these genes, we identified CD24 and CD274, key immunoreceptors that regulate immunogenic T and B cells and play important roles in systemic autoimmune diseases. Finally, clinical significance of TUSC2 transcriptional effects was validated on the expression array data produced previously on clinical specimens of MPM. In this analysis, 42 TUSC2 targets proved to be concordantly modulated in MM serving as disease discriminators.
CONCLUSION: Our data support immuno-therapeutic potential of TUSC2, define its targets, and underscore its importance as a transcriptional stimulator of anti-tumorigenic pathways.

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