Interferon-β signaling contributes to Ras transformation

PLoS One. 2011;6(8):e24291. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0024291. Epub 2011 Aug 29.


Increasing evidence has pointed to activated type I interferon signaling in tumors. However, the molecular basis for such activation and its role in tumorigenesis remain unclear. In the current studies, we report that activation of type I interferon (IFN) signaling in tumor cells is primarily due to elevated secretion of the type I interferon, IFN-β. Studies in oncogene-transformed cells suggest that oncogenes such as Ras and Src can activate IFN-β signaling. Significantly, elevated IFN-β signaling in Ras-transformed mammary epithelial MCF-10A cells was shown to contribute to Ras transformation as evidenced by morphological changes, anchorage-independent growth, and migratory properties. Our results demonstrate for the first time that the type I IFN, IFN-β, contributes to Ras transformation and support the notion that oncogene-induced cytokines play important roles in oncogene transformation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic*
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Genes, src / genetics
  • Humans
  • Interferon-beta / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • NIH 3T3 Cells
  • Oncogene Protein p21(ras) / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Ubiquitins / metabolism


  • Cytokines
  • Ubiquitins
  • ISG15 protein, human
  • Interferon-beta
  • Oncogene Protein p21(ras)