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Baton Rouge, LA, United States

Jiang X.-P.,Mastology Research Institute | Yang D.C.,Mastology Research Institute | Elliott R.L.,Mastology Research Institute | Head J.F.,Mastology Research Institute
Anticancer Research | Year: 2011

Interleukin-6 (IL-6) plays an important role in the neoplastic process through its action on cancer cell adhesion, motility, proliferation, tumor-specific antigen expression, and thrombopoiesis. IL-6 exerts its activity by binding to a high affinity receptor complex consisting of two membrane glycoproteins: the 80 kDa IL-6 a-receptor subunit (IL-6R) and the 130 kDa signal-transducing protein (GP130). In the present study, MCF-7 breast cancer cells were cultured with human IL-6 and IL-6 soluble receptor (sIL-6R). MCF-7 cells were also treated with either antibodies specific to human IL-6 and IL-6R, or synthetic antisense oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) targeted to IL-6 and IL-6R genes. Cell growth was measured, and it was found that human IL-6 and sIL-6R did not significantly increase the proliferation of MCF-7 cells. When IL-6 produced by the MCF-7 cells was bound by rabbit anti-human IL-6 antibody, there was a significant dose-dependent inhibition of cell proliferation. IL-6 and IL-6R antisense ODNs caused a marked and specific decrease in IL-6 and IL-6R mRNA and proteins, respectively. Both IL-6 and IL-6R antisense ODNs significantly inhibited the proliferation of MCF-7 cells, but the inhibitory effect of IL-6R antisense ODN was greater than that of IL-6 antisense ODN (IC50: IL-6R: 1 μM; IL-6: 5 μM, 72-hour incubation). Addition of exogenous IL-6 partially reversed the growth inhibition caused by IL-6 antisense ODN but not the growth inhibition caused by IL-6R antisense ODN. In conclusion, IL-6 plays an important role in maintaining the growth of MCF-7 breast cancer cells. These results suggest careful modulation of IL-6 and IL-6R expression of cells as a potential approach for breast cancer therapy.

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