There is emerging evidence that the IFN-inducible family of Slfn genes and proteins play important roles in cell cycle progression and control of cellular proliferation, but the precise functional roles of different Slfn members in the regulation of tumorigenesis remain unclear. In the present study, we undertook a systematic analysis on the expression and functional relevance of different mouse Slfn genes in malignant melanoma and renal cell carcinoma cells. Our studies demonstrate that several mouse Slfn genes are up-regulated in response to IFN treatment of mouse melanoma and renal cell carcinoma cells, including Slfn1, Slfn2, Slfn4, Slfn5, and Slfn8. Our data show that Slfn2 and Slfn3 play essential roles in the control of mouse malignant melanoma cell proliferation and/or anchorage-independent growth, suggesting key and non-overlapping roles for these genes in the control of malignant melanoma tumorigenesis. In renal cell carcinoma cells, in addition to Slfn2 and Slfn3, Slfn5 also exhibits important antineoplastic effects. Altogether, our findings indicate important functions for distinct mouse Slfn genes in the control of tumorigenesis and provide evidence for differential involvement of distinct members of this gene family in controlling tumorigenesis. They also raise the potential of future therapeutic approaches involving modulation of expression of members of this family of genes in malignant melanoma and renal cell carcinoma.
Keywords: Antiviral Agents; Cell Death; Innate Immunity; Interferon; Schlafen; Signal Transduction; Signaling.