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      Interferon-α: Regulatory Effects on Cell Cycle and Angiogenesis

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          In the current study, we investigated the effects of interferon-α (IFN-α) on proliferation and angiogenesis in neuroendocrine tumor disease. Using a panel of human neuroendocrine tumor cell lines, we confirmed functionally active IFN-α signaling by STAT activation and nuclear translocation as well as transactivation. IFN-α results in anchorage-dependent and -independent growth inhibition due to a delayed progression from S-phase to G2 phase of the cell cycle. This was due to substantial reduction in cellular cyclin B levels resulting in the inhibition of Cdc2 kinase activity. In parallel to growth inhibition, we observed a profound inhibition of VEGF gene transcription by IFN-α in human neuroendocrine tumor cells due to an Sp1/Sp3-dependent inhibition of VEGF promoter activity. Treatment of neuroendocrine tumors with IFN-α in nude mice resulted in growth inhibition and inhibition of angiogenesis. Furthermore, treatment of neuroendocrine tumor patients with IFN-α resulted in decreased VEGF expression as well as tumor angiogenesis in liver metastases. In summary, IFN-α acts via direct antiproliferative effects as well as inhibition of tumor angiogenesis mediated by suppression of VEGF gene expression in neuroendocrine tumor disease.

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          Most cited references 21

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          Role of vascular endothelial growth factor in the regulation of angiogenesis.

           N Ferrara (1999)
          Compelling evidence indicates that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a fundamental regulator of normal and abnormal angiogenesis. The loss of a single VEGF allele results in defective vascularization and early embryonic lethality. VEGF plays also a critical role in kidney development, and its inactivation during early postnatal life results in the suppression of glomerular development and kidney failure. Recent evidence indicates that VEGF is also essential for angiogenesis in the female reproductive tract and for morphogenesis of the epiphyseal growth plate and endochondral bone formation. Substantial experimental evidence also implicates VEGF in pathological angiogenesis. Anti-VEGF monoclonal antibodies or other VEGF inhibitors block the growth of several human tumor cell lines in nude mice. Furthermore, the concentrations of VEGF are elevated in the aqueous and vitreous humors of patients with proliferative retinopathies such as the diabetic retinopathy. In addition, VEGF-induced angiogenesis results in a therapeutic benefit in several animal models of myocardial or limb ischemia. Currently, both therapeutic angiogenesis using recombinant VEGF or VEGF gene transfer and inhibition of VEGF-mediated pathological angiogenesis are being pursued clinically.
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            A tale of three fingers: the family of mammalian Sp/XKLF transcription factors.

             G Suske,  S Philipsen (1999)
            One of the most common regulatory elements is the GC box and the related GT/CACC box, which are widely distributed in promoters, enhancers and locus control regions of housekeeping as well as tissue-specific genes. For long it was generally thought that Sp1 is the major factor acting through these motifs. Recent discoveries have shown that Sp1 is only one of many transcription factors binding and acting through these elements. Sp1 simply represents the first identified and cloned protein of a family of transcription factors characterised by a highly conserved DNA-binding domain consisting of three zinc fingers. Currently this new family of transcription factors has at least 16 different mammalian members. Here, we will summarise and discuss recent advances that have been directed towards understanding the biological role of these proteins.
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              Prospective, randomized, multicenter trial on the antiproliferative effect of lanreotide, interferon alfa, and their combination for therapy of metastatic neuroendocrine gastroenteropancreatic tumors--the International Lanreotide and Interferon Alfa Study Group.

              Somatostatin analogs and interferon alfa control hormone-active/functional neuroendocrine gastroenteropancreatic tumors. In addition to hormonal control, variable degrees of antiproliferative effects for both agents have been reported. Until now, however, no prospective, randomized studies in therapy-naive patients have compared somatostatin analogs or interferon alfa alone with a combination of the two. Eighty therapy-naive patients with histologically verified neuroendocrine tumor disease (primary localization: foregut, n = 36; midgut, n = 30; hindgut, n = 3; unknown, n = 11; functional, n = 29; nonfunctional, n = 51) were randomly treated either with lanreotide (1 mg three times a day administered subcutaneously [SC]) or interferon alfa (5 x 106 U three times a week SC) or both. All patients had disease progression in the 3 months before study entry, verified with imaging procedures. Twenty-five patients were treated with lanreotide, 27 patients were treated with interferon alfa, and 28 patients were treated with the combination. Partial tumor remission was seen in four patients (one patient who received lanreotide, one patient who received interferon alfa, and two patients who received the combination). During the 12 months of therapy, stable disease was observed in 19 patients (seven patients who received lanreotide, seven patients who received interferon alfa, and five patients who received the combination), whereas tumor progression occurred in 14 of 25 patients (lanreotide), 15 of 27 patients (interferon alfa), and 14 of 28 patients (combination). Side effects leading to an interruption of therapy were more frequent in the combination group than in the monotherapy arms. This prospective, randomized, multicenter study shows for the first time that somatostatin analogs, interferon alfa, or the combination of the two had comparable antiproliferative effects in the treatment of metastatic neuroendocrine gastroenteropancreatic tumors. Response rates were lower compared with those published in previous, nonrandomized studies. The antiproliferative effect of the tested substances was similar for functional and nonfunctional neuroendocrine tumors.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                October 2004
                15 October 2004
                : 80
                : Suppl 1
                : 85-93
                Medizinische Klinik m.S. Hepatologie und Gastroenterologie, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Virchow-Klinikum, Berlin, Deutschland
                80748 Neuroendocrinology 2004;80(suppl 1):85–93
                © 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 4, References: 29, Pages: 9


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