Type i interferons: Ancient peptides with still under-discovered anti-cancer properties

Michele Caraglia, Alessandra Dicitore, Monica Marra, Sara Castiglioni, Luca Persani, Pasquale Sperlongano, Pierosandro Tagliaferri, Alberto Abbruzzese, Giovanni Vitale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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-α, 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-α, is currently the most used cytokine in the treatment of cancer. However, the potential anti-tumour activity of IFN-α 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)412-423
Number of pages12
JournalProtein and Peptide Letters
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


  • Egf-p
  • Farnesyltransferase inhibitors
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Interferon-beta
  • Mtor
  • Pegylated interferons
  • Stats
  • Type i interferons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Structural Biology


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