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Type I Interferons: Ancient Peptides with Still Under-Discovered Anti-Cancer Properties

[ Vol. 20 , Issue. 4 ]


Michele Caraglia, Alessandra Dicitore, Monica Marra, Sara Castiglioni, Luca Persani, Pasquale Sperlongano, Pierosandro Tagliaferri, Alberto Abbruzzese and Giovanni Vitale   Pages 412 - 423 ( 12 )


Type I interferons (IFNs) represent a group of cytokines that act through a common receptor composed by two chains (IFNAR-1 and IFNAR-2). Several in vitro and in vivo studies showed a potent antitumor activity induced by these cytokines. IFN- , the first cytokine to be produced by recombinant DNA technology, has emerged as an important regulator of cancer cell growth and differentiation, affecting cellular communication and signal transduction pathways. IFN- , is currently the most used cytokine in the treatment of cancer. However, the potential anti-tumour activity of IFN- is limited by the activation of tumour resistance mechanisms. This article reviews the current knowledge about the antitumor activity of type I IFNs, focusing on new potential strategies able to strengthen the antitumor activity of these cytokines.


Type I interferons, interferon-alpha, interferon-beta, STATs, mTOR, pegylated interferons, farnesyltransferase inhibitors, EGF-R, cytokine, antitumor activity


Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Second University of Naples, Via Costantinopoli, 16 80138 Naples Italy.

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