Upregulation of epidermal growth factor receptor induced by α-interferon in human epidermoid cancer cells

Alfredo Budillon, Pierosandro Tagliaferri, Michele Caraglia, Maria Rosaria Torrisi, Nicola Normanno, Stefano Iacobelli, Giovannella Palmieri, Maria Patrizia Stoppelli, Luigi Frati, Angelo Raffaele Bianco

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Abstract

Unregulated or increased expression of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGF-R) is a common event in neoplastic transformation; modulation of such a receptor by physiological agents could be, therefore, of clinical interest. We have studied the binding ability, the availability at cell surface, and the synthesis of EGF-R in the A431 and KB human epidermoid cancer cell lines after treatment with recombinant α-interferon (IFN-α). After 48 h of treatment, IFN-α induces, in both cell lines, growth inhibition and enhances class I major histocompatibility HLA complex expression, which is a common marker of IFN action. [125I]EGF total binding assessed after 48 h of treatment with IFN-α shows a dose-dependent upregulation of EGF-R binding capacity. Saturation plots of the binding data show that IFN-α treatment does not dramatically alter the affinity of the EGF-R and indicate that IFN-α only increases the number of low affinity receptors. We show that this effect is due to a specific increase in the synthesis of the receptor protein, as assessed by immunoprecipitation of [35S]methionine-labeled cell extracts. Electron microscopy analysis has confirmed an increase of EGF-R proteins at cell surface without major changes in the morphology of the cells. Taken together, these results indicate that IFN-α consistently induces both the binding capacity and the synthesis of EGF-R in human epidermoid cancer cells and suggest the use of such a mechanism for new anticancer therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1294-1299
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Research
Volume51
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 15 1991

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

Cite this

Budillon, A., Tagliaferri, P., Caraglia, M., Torrisi, M. R., Normanno, N., Iacobelli, S., Palmieri, G., Stoppelli, M. P., Frati, L., & Bianco, A. R. (1991). Upregulation of epidermal growth factor receptor induced by α-interferon in human epidermoid cancer cells. Cancer Research, 51(4), 1294-1299.