MDA-7/IL-24: novel cancer growth suppressing and apoptosis inducing cytokine

Cytokine Growth Factor Rev. 2003 Feb;14(1):35-51. doi: 10.1016/s1359-6101(02)00074-6.


The melanoma differentiation-associated gene-7 (mda-7) was cloned by subtraction hybridization as a molecule whose expression is elevated in terminally differentiated human melanoma cells. Current information based on structural and sequence homology, has led to the recognition of MDA-7 as an IL-10 family cytokine member and its renaming as IL-24. Northern blot analysis revealed mda-7/IL-24 expression in human tissues associated with the immune system such as spleen, thymus, peripheral blood leukocytes and normal melanocytes. The MDA-7/IL-24 mouse counterpart, FISP, appears to be a Th2-specific protein and the rat counterpart, C49A/MOB-5, is associated with wound healing and is also induced as a consequence of ras-transformation. A notable property of MDA-7/IL-24 is its ability to induce apoptosis in a large spectrum of human cancer derived cell lines, in mouse xenografts and upon intratumoral injection in human tumors (phase I clinical trials). Various aspects of this intriguing molecule including its cytokine and anti-tumoral effects are described and discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / metabolism*
  • Apoptosis / physiology*
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Genes, Tumor Suppressor*
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-10 / genetics
  • Interleukins / genetics
  • Interleukins / metabolism*
  • Melanoma / metabolism
  • Melanoma / pathology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Sequence Alignment


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Interleukins
  • interleukin-24
  • Interleukin-10