Gene Summary

Gene:IFNG; interferon gamma
Aliases: IFG, IFI
Summary:This gene encodes a soluble cytokine that is a member of the type II interferon class. The encoded protein is secreted by cells of both the innate and adaptive immune systems. The active protein is a homodimer that binds to the interferon gamma receptor which triggers a cellular response to viral and microbial infections. Mutations in this gene are associated with an increased susceptibility to viral, bacterial and parasitic infections and to several autoimmune diseases. [provided by RefSeq, Dec 2015]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:interferon gamma
Source:NCBIAccessed: 01 September, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (63)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (20)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 01 September 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Cell Proliferation
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Tumor Microenvironment
  • Skin Cancer
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Trans-Activators
  • Vaccination
  • Breast Cancer
  • Interleukin-10
  • Risk Factors
  • Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor
  • TNF
  • Virus Activation
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Chromosome 1
  • Promoter Regions
  • Cytokines
  • Cervical Cancer
  • T-Lymphocytes
  • Whole Exome Sequencing
  • Lung Cancer
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Cancer Stem Cells
  • ras GTPase-Activating Proteins
  • Genotype
  • Polymorphism
  • Tumor Escape
  • Signaling Lymphocytic Activation Molecule Family
  • Single-Stranded Conformational Polymorphism
  • Adolescents
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • B7-H1 Antigen
  • Alleles
  • Vorinostat
  • Apoptosis
  • Zinc Finger Protein Gli2
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Xenograft Models
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
Tag cloud generated 01 September, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (5)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: IFNG (cancer-related)

Nakayama Y, Mimura K, Tamaki T, et al.
Phospho‑STAT1 expression as a potential biomarker for anti‑PD‑1/anti‑PD‑L1 immunotherapy for breast cancer.
Int J Oncol. 2019; 54(6):2030-2038 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In the present study, we evaluated the mechanisms of programmed death ligand 1 (PD‑L1) expression in the breast cancer microenvironment, focusing on the role of interferon‑γ (IFN‑γ), and the clinical indications for anti‑programmed cell death 1 (PD‑1) /anti‑PD‑L1 immunotherapy. We evaluated PD‑L1 expression in 4 breast cancer cell lines in the presence of 3 types of inhibitors, as well as IFN‑γ. The expression of phosphorylated signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (p‑STAT1), one of the IFN‑γ signaling pathway molecules, was analyzed using immunohistochemistry (IHC) in relation to PD‑L1 and human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I expression on cancer cells and tumor‑infiltrating CD8‑positive T cells in 111 patients with stage II/III breast cancer. Using The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database, the correlation of the IFN‑γ signature with PD‑L1 expression was analyzed in breast invasive carcinoma tissues. As a result, the JAK/STAT pathway via IFN‑γ was mainly involved in PD‑L1 expression in the cell lines examined. IHC analysis revealed that the PD‑L1 and HLA class I expression levels were significantly upregulated in the p‑STAT1‑positive cases. TCGA analysis indicated that the PD‑L1 expression and IFN‑γ signature exhibited a positive correlation. On the whole, these findings suggest that PD‑L1 and HLA class I are co‑expressed in p‑STAT1‑positive breast cancer cells induced by IFN‑γ secreted from tumor infiltrating immune cells, and that p‑STAT1 expression may be a potential biomarker for patient selection for immunotherapy with anti‑PD‑1/anti‑PD‑L1 monoclonal antibodies.

Watanabe S, Hayashi K, Toh K, et al.
In vivo rendezvous of small nucleic acid drugs with charge-matched block catiomers to target cancers.
Nat Commun. 2019; 10(1):1894 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Stabilisation of fragile oligonucleotides, typically small interfering RNA (siRNA), is one of the most critical issues for oligonucleotide therapeutics. Many previous studies encapsulated oligonucleotides into ~100-nm nanoparticles. However, such nanoparticles inevitably accumulate in liver and spleen. Further, some intractable cancers, e.g., tumours in pancreas and brain, have inherent barrier characteristics preventing the penetration of such nanoparticles into tumour microenvironments. Herein, we report an alternative approach to cancer-targeted oligonucleotide delivery using a Y-shaped block catiomer (YBC) with precisely regulated chain length. Notably, the number of positive charges in YBC is adjusted to match that of negative charges in each oligonucleotide strand (i.e., 20). The YBC rendezvouses with a single oligonucleotide in the bloodstream to generate a dynamic ion-pair, termed unit polyion complex (uPIC). Owing to both significant longevity in the bloodstream and appreciably small size (~18 nm), the uPIC efficiently delivers oligonucleotides into pancreatic tumour and brain tumour models, exerting significant antitumour activity.

De Silva P, Garaud S, Solinas C, et al.
FOXP1 negatively regulates tumor infiltrating lymphocyte migration in human breast cancer.
EBioMedicine. 2019; 39:226-238 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: FOXP1, a transcriptional regulator of lymphocyte development, is abnormally expressed in some human tumors. This study investigated FOXP1-mediated regulation of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) in untreated primary breast cancer (BC).
METHODS: FOXP1 expression was analyzed in tissues from primary untreated breast tumors, BC cell lines and the METABRIC gene expression BC dataset. Cytokine and chemokine expression and lymphocyte migration in response to primary tumor supernatants (SN) was compared between FOXP1
FINDING: FOXP1 expression was higher in estrogen receptor positive compared to negative BC. FOXP1
INTERPRETATION: These data identify FOXP1 as an important negative regulator of immune responses in BC via its regulation of cytokine and chemokine expression. FUND: Belgian Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS 3.4513.12F) and Opération Télévie (7.4636.13F and 7.4609.15F), Fonds J.C. Heuson and Fonds Lambeau-Marteaux.

Oliva D, Nilsson M, Strandéus M, et al.
Individual Genetic Variation Might Predict Acute Skin Reactions in Women Undergoing Adjuvant Breast Cancer Radiotherapy.
Anticancer Res. 2018; 38(12):6763-6770 [PubMed] Related Publications
Adverse skin reactions during radiotherapy (RT) are common. The aim of this study was to explore whether genetic variation might be linked to acute radiation skin reactions (ARSR).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: One hundred and nineteen women undergoing adjuvant RT for breast cancer were included. The symptoms of itching, burning and irritation were self-reported twice using the visual analogue scale. Assessments used the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group scoring system for acute RT skin reaction (RTOG scale). Blood-based single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis was performed. Thirty SNPs of well-defined functional genes were investigated.
RESULTS: All women were assessed with ARSR. After RT, the women self-reported itching (n=97), burning (n=64) and irritation (n=96). Two SNPs in X-Ray Repair Cross Complementing 2 gene (XRCC2) rs2040639 and interferon gamma (IFNG) rs2069705 genes were found to be associated with ARSR.
CONCLUSION: An association between two SNPs and ARSR was found. The possibility of using these SNPs as prognostic biomarkers for ARSR as tools to improve the care of patients needs further investigation.

Yang Y, Ding M, Di N, et al.
Close correlation between hyperandrogenism and insulin resistance in women with polycystic ovary syndrome-Based on liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry measurements.
J Clin Lab Anal. 2019; 33(3):e22699 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: To investigate the correlation between hyperandrogenism (HA) and insulin resistance (IR) in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) by measuring serum total testosterone (TT) using a liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry assay (LC-MS/MS).
METHODS: This cohort study included 332 patients with PCOS, 63 patients with IR and 276 with controls. TT levels were measured by LC-MS/MS and chemiluminescent immunoassay (CLIA); glucose and insulin levels were determined by an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).
RESULTS: Compared with CLIA, LC-MS/MS differentiated more cases with high TT levels among the non-PCOS subjects with IR In patients with PCOS, LC-MS/MS-based TT levels or a combination with the mFG score detected a significantly higher incidence of HA in subjects with IR identified by hyperinsulinemia (HIN), HOMA-IR or impaired fasting glucose (IFG) than in those without IR Conversely, the IR rates demonstrated by HIN, HOMA-IR, or IFG were remarkably higher in the LC-MS/MS-defined high TT subgroup than in the normal TT subgroup. However, the CLIA platform could not discern a difference in HA incidence between IR and non-IR subgroups or in IR rate between high and normal TT populations. ROC curves also proved that HIN, HOMA-IR, and IFG were positive contributors to HA as measured by LC-MS/MS CONCLUSIONS: The correlation between HA and IR has always been underestimated, partly owing to the less accurate methods previously used to measure TT. HIN, HOMA-IR, and IFG are likely to contribute to the development of HA from a clinical perspective.

Tanaka K, Kanesaka Y, Takami M, et al.
Role of leukotriene B4 12-hydroxydehydrogenase in α-galactosylceramide-pulsed dendritic cell therapy for non-small cell lung cancer.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2018; 506(1):27-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
Invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells exhibit potent antitumor effects upon activation by recognizing a specific glycolipid antigen. We previously performed phase I-II clinical studies to utilize iNKT cells using α-galactosylceramide-pulsed dendritic cells and identified leukotriene B4 12-hydroxydehydrogenase (LTB4DH) as a biomarker highly expressed in T cells derived from non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients who showed prolonged survival in respond to the iNKT cell immunotherapy. Because LTB4DH expression correlated with prolonged survival of NSCLC patients, we considered LTB4DH to play a role in iNKT cell immunotherapy. We herein demonstrate that the overexpression of LTB4DH in CD4

Yaghoobi H, Azizi H, Oskooei VK, et al.
Assessment of expression of interferon γ (IFN-G) gene and its antisense (IFNG-AS1) in breast cancer.
World J Surg Oncol. 2018; 16(1):211 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The role of long non-coding RNAs has been extensively appreciated in the contexts of cancer. Interferon γ-antisense RNA1 (IFNG-AS1) is an lncRNA located near to IFN-γ-encoding (IFNG) gene and regulates expression of IFNG in Th1 cells.
METHODS: In the present study, we evaluated expression of IFNG and IFNG-AS1 in 108 breast samples including tumoral tissues and their adjacent non-cancerous tissues (ANCTs) using real-time PCR. IFNG-AS1 was significantly upregulated in tumoral tissues compared with ANCTs (expression ratio = 2.23, P = 0.03).
RESULTS: Although the expression of IFNG was higher in tumoral tissues compared with ANCTs (relative expression = 1.89), it did not reach the level of significance (P = 0.07). IFNG expression was significantly higher in HER2-negative tumoral tissues compared with HER2-positive ones (P = 0.01) and in grade 1 samples compared with grade 2 ones (P = 0.03). No other significant difference was found in expressions of genes between other groups.
CONCLUSION: Significant strong correlations were detected between expression of IFNG and IFNG-AS1 in both tumoral tissues and ANCTs. The present study provides evidences for participation of IFNG and IFNG-AS1 in the pathogenesis of breast cancer and warrants future studies to elaborate the underlying mechanism.

Guan X, Luo L, Begum G, et al.
Elevated Na/H exchanger 1 (SLC9A1) emerges as a marker for tumorigenesis and prognosis in gliomas.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2018; 37(1):255 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Sodium/hydrogen exchanger 1 (NHE1), encoded by the SLC9A1 gene (SoLute Carrier family 9A1) in humans, is the main H
METHODS: The Chinese Glioma Genome Atlas (CGGA) dataset containing transcriptome sequencing data of 325 glioma samples and the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) with 698 glioma mRNAseq data were analyzed in this study. Mouse SB28 and GL26 intracranial syngeneic glioma models in C57BL/6 J mice were established to investigate NHE1 expression and impact of NHE1 protein inhibition with its inhibitor HOE642 on tumorigenesis and anti-PD1 therapy. Tumor angiogenesis, immunogenicity, and progression were assessed by immunofluorescence staining and flow cytometric profiling.
RESULTS: Analysis of SLC9A1 mRNA expression in two data sets, CGGA and TCGA, reveals significantly higher SLC9A1 mRNA levels in higher grade gliomas. The SLC9A1 mRNA expression was especially enriched in isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH)1/2 wild-type glioblastoma (GBM) and in mesenchymal glioma subtypes. Worsened survival probabilities were correlated with the elevated SLC9A1 mRNA levels in gliomas. The underlying mechanisms include promoting angiogenesis, and extracellular matrix remodeling. Increased SLC9A1 mRNA expression was also associated with tumor-associated macrophage accumulation. NHE1 inhibitor HOE642 reduced glioma volume, invasion, and prolonged overall survival in mouse glioma models. Blockade of NHE1 protein also stimulated immunogenic tumor microenvironment via activating CD8 T-cell accumulation, increasing expression of interferon-gamma (Ifng), and sensitized animals to anti-PD-1 therapy.
CONCLUSION: Our findings strongly suggest that NHE1 protein emerges as a marker for tumorigenesis and prognosis in glioma. Blocking NHE1 protein is a novel strategy for adjuvant anti-cancer therapies.

Song M, Sandoval TA, Chae CS, et al.
IRE1α-XBP1 controls T cell function in ovarian cancer by regulating mitochondrial activity.
Nature. 2018; 562(7727):423-428 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Tumours evade immune control by creating hostile microenvironments that perturb T cell metabolism and effector function

Li S, Han X, Lyu N, et al.
Mechanism and prognostic value of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 expressed in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Cancer Sci. 2018; 109(12):3726-3736 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 (IDO1) is a tryptophan-metabolizing enzyme that is widely distributed in normal or malignant tissues and contributes to immunologic tolerance and immune escape. However, in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the characteristics and mechanism of IDO1 expression have not been well defined. In this study, IDO1 expression in tumor cells (T-IDO1) was frequently detected (109/112) by immunohistochemistry in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded specimens from HCC patients, and the expression patterns were mostly focal (102/109). Expression of T-IDO1 was significantly associated with the infiltration of CD8+ T cells (P = .043), as well as younger age (<50 years old, P = .02). It was also found that IDO1 had diffuse expression in inflammatory cells in all specimens, which were defined as antigen-presenting cells. Significant correlations among IDO1, IFNG, and CD8A transcriptional levels were observed in freshly resected HCC specimens; moreover, no constitutive IDO1 expression was detected in HCC cell lines until stimulated by interferon-γ through the JAK2-STAT1 signaling pathway, but not type I interferon. Survival analyses showed that increased T-IDO1 and CD8+ T cell infiltration were significantly associated with superior overall survival (OS) (T-IDO1, P = .003; CD8+ T cells, P = .004), and T-IDO1 expression is an independent prognosis factor in both OS and disease-free survival (OS, P = .007; disease-free survival, P = .044). These findings indicated that T-IDO1 expression in HCC is common and is dominantly driven by the host antitumor immune response, which is a favorable prognostic factor in HCC.

Wang T, Fan C, Yao A, et al.
The Adaptor Protein CARD9 Protects against Colon Cancer by Restricting Mycobiota-Mediated Expansion of Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells.
Immunity. 2018; 49(3):504-514.e4 [PubMed] Related Publications
The adaptor protein CARD9 links detection of fungi by surface receptors to the activation of the NF-κB pathway. Mice deficient in CARD9 exhibit dysbiosis and are more susceptible to colitis. Here we examined the impact of Card9 deficiency in the development of colitis-associated colon cancer (CAC). Treatment of Card9

Kim HD, Song GW, Park S, et al.
Association Between Expression Level of PD1 by Tumor-Infiltrating CD8
Gastroenterology. 2018; 155(6):1936-1950.e17 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND & AIMS: T-cell exhaustion, or an impaired capacity to secrete cytokines and proliferate with overexpression of immune checkpoint receptors, occurs during chronic viral infections but has also been observed in tumors, including hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs). We investigated features of exhaustion in CD8
METHODS: We obtained HCC specimens, along with adjacent nontumor tissues and blood samples, from 90 patients who underwent surgical resection at Asan Medical Center (Seoul, Korea) from April 2016 through April 2018. Intrahepatic lymphocytes and tumor-infiltrating T cells were analyzed by flow cytometry. Tumor-infiltrating CD8
RESULTS: PD1-high, PD1-intermediate, and PD1-negative CD8
CONCLUSIONS: We found HCC specimens to contain CD8

Wang QM, Tang PM, Lian GY, et al.
Enhanced Cancer Immunotherapy with Smad3-Silenced NK-92 Cells.
Cancer Immunol Res. 2018; 6(8):965-977 [PubMed] Related Publications
Natural killer (NK) cells, early effectors in anticancer immunity, are paralyzed by TGFβ1, an immunosuppressive cytokine produced by cancer cells. Development and activity of NK cells are largely inhibited in the Smad3-dependent tumor microenvironment. Here, we used genetic engineering to generate a stable SMAD3-silencing human NK cell line, NK-92-S3KD, whose cancer-killing activity and cytokine production were significantly enhanced under TGFβ1-rich condition compared with the parental cell line. Interestingly, we identified that the IFNG gene is a direct E4BP4 target gene. Thus, silencing of SMAD3 allows upregulation of E4BP4 that subsequently promoting interferon-γ (IFNγ) production in the NK-92-S3KD cells. More importantly, NK-92-S3KD immunotherapy increases the production of not only IFNγ, but also granzyme B and perforin in tumors; therefore, inhibiting cancer progression in two xenograft mouse models with human hepatoma (HepG2) and melanoma (A375). Thus, the NK-92-S3KD cell line may be useful for the clinical immunotherapy of cancer.

Mourmouras N, Philippou A, Christopoulos P, et al.
Differential Expression of IGF-I Transcripts in Bladder Cancer.
Anticancer Res. 2018; 38(6):3453-3459 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: A growing body of evidence shows that the differential expression of E domain-related insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) transcripts (IFG-IEa, IGF-IEb and IGF-IEc) in normal and cancerous tissues, implicating specific biological roles for the putative Ea, Eb, and Ec peptides, beyond IGF-I. Herein, we investigated the expression profile of IGF-IEa, IGF-IEb and IGF-IEc transcripts in bladder cancer and compared them with samples from the normal adjacent bladder tissue.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Biopsies from 46 patients (39 men and 7 women), aged 73.3±10.9 years, were analyzed for the expression of IGF-I transcripts using semi-quantitative real time-PCR (qRT-PCR).
RESULTS: The presence of all three IGF-I transcripts was detected in both normal urothelium and bladder carcinomas. The relative expression of the IGF-IEa and IFG-IEb was marginally increased in bladder cancer tissues compared to normal tissue (p>0.05). In contrast, the expression of the IGF-IEc was significantly decreased in bladder cancer as compared to normal adjacent urothelium (p<0.05). This specific suppression of IGF-IEc expression was evident and positively correlated with the histological and/or clinical characteristics of an advanced disease, referring to clinical stage, tumor grade and disease recurrence (p<0.05); however, in situ carcinomas exhibited an increased expression of all IGF-I transcripts.
CONCLUSION: Our data confirm the differential expression of IGF-I transcripts in bladder cancer, revealing a distinct suppression of IGF-IEc. These findings suggest that IGF-IEc expression and putative Ec product may possess discrete biological role in disease progression beyond IGF-I.

Dong Z, Zhu X, Li Y, et al.
Oncogenomic analysis identifies novel biomarkers for tumor stage mycosis fungoides.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2018; 97(21):e10871 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Patients with mycosis fungoides (MF) developing tumors or extracutaneous lesions usually have a poor prognosis with no cure has so far been available. To identify potential novel biomarkers for MF at the tumor stage, a genomic mapping of 41 cutaneous lymphoma biopsies was used to explore for significant genes.The gene expression profiling datasets of MF were obtained from Gene Expression Omnibus database (GEO). Gene modules were simulated using Weighted Gene Co-expression Network Analysis (WGCNA) and the top soft-connected genes (hub genes) were filtrated with a threshold (0.5). Subsequently, module eigengenes were calculated and significant biological pathways were enriched based on the KEGG database.Four genetic modules were simulated with 3263 genes collected from the whole genomic profile based on cutoff values. Significant diseases genetic terminologies associated with tumor stage MF were found in black module. Subsequently, 13 hub genes including CFLAR, GCNT2, IFNG, IL17A, IL22, MIP, PLCG1, PTH, PTPN6, REG1A, SNAP25, SUPT7L, and TP63 were shown to be related to cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) and adult T-cell lymphoma/leukemia (ATLL).In summary, in addition to the reported genes (IL17F, PLCG1, IFNG, and PTH) in CTCL/ATLL, the other high instable genes may serve as novel biomarkers for the regulation of the biological processes and molecular mechanisms of CTLT (MF/SS).

Chaganty BKR, Qiu S, Gest A, et al.
Trastuzumab upregulates PD-L1 as a potential mechanism of trastuzumab resistance through engagement of immune effector cells and stimulation of IFNγ secretion.
Cancer Lett. 2018; 430:47-56 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Here, we report that treatment of syngeneic mouse tumors transduced to overexpress human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2) with the anti-human HER2 antibody trastuzumab upregulated the level of programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1), an important negative regulator of T-cell response, in a transgenic mouse model immune-tolerant to human HER2. We further found that trastuzumab alone had no detectable effect on the level of PD-L1 expression in monocultures of HER2-overexpressing human breast cancer cells but upregulated PD-L1 in the same panel of HER2-overexpressing breast cancer cells when they were co-cultured with human peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and the upregulation of PD-L1 could be blocked by an IFNγ-neutralizing antibody. Inhibition of HER2 intrinsic signaling via HER2 expression knockdown or kinase inhibition had variable and cell-context-specific effects on downregulating the PD-L1 level. Analysis of The Cancer Genome Atlas database showed no direct correlation between HER2 and PD-L1 at the messenger RNA level. Trastuzumab-mediated upregulation of PD-L1 through engagement of immune effector cells may function as a potential mechanism of trastuzumab resistance. Our data justify further investigation of the value of adding anti-PD-1 or anti-PD-L1 therapy to trastuzumab-based treatment.

Bins S, Basak EA, El Bouazzaoui S, et al.
Association between single-nucleotide polymorphisms and adverse events in nivolumab-treated non-small cell lung cancer patients.
Br J Cancer. 2018; 118(10):1296-1301 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Treatment with PD-1 inhibitors can be hampered by severe auto-immune-related toxicities. Our objective was to identify single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes previously associated with auto-immunity, which are associated with toxicities in nivolumab-treated NSCLC patients. This was in order to identify patients prone to develop severe toxicities and to gain more insight into the underlying pathobiology.
METHODS: We analysed 322 nivolumab-treated patients and assessed the association with toxicities for seven SNPs in four genes, which are considered contributors to PD-1-directed T-cell responses, i.e., PDCD1, PTPN11, ZAP70 and IFNG. Every SNP was tested for its association with toxicity endpoints. Significant associations were tested in a validation cohort.
RESULTS: A multivariable analysis in the exploration cohort showed that homozygous variant patients for PDCD1 804C>T (rs2227981) had decreased odds for any grade treatment-related toxicities (n = 96; OR 0.4; 95% CI 0.2-1.0; p = 0.039). However, this result could not be validated (n = 85; OR 0.9; 95% CI 0.4-1.9; p = NS).
CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that it is unlikely that the investigated SNPs have a clinical implication in predicting toxicity. A finding, even though negative, that is considered timely and instructive towards further research in biomarker development for checkpoint inhibitor treatments.

Thorsson V, Gibbs DL, Brown SD, et al.
The Immune Landscape of Cancer.
Immunity. 2018; 48(4):812-830.e14 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We performed an extensive immunogenomic analysis of more than 10,000 tumors comprising 33 diverse cancer types by utilizing data compiled by TCGA. Across cancer types, we identified six immune subtypes-wound healing, IFN-γ dominant, inflammatory, lymphocyte depleted, immunologically quiet, and TGF-β dominant-characterized by differences in macrophage or lymphocyte signatures, Th1:Th2 cell ratio, extent of intratumoral heterogeneity, aneuploidy, extent of neoantigen load, overall cell proliferation, expression of immunomodulatory genes, and prognosis. Specific driver mutations correlated with lower (CTNNB1, NRAS, or IDH1) or higher (BRAF, TP53, or CASP8) leukocyte levels across all cancers. Multiple control modalities of the intracellular and extracellular networks (transcription, microRNAs, copy number, and epigenetic processes) were involved in tumor-immune cell interactions, both across and within immune subtypes. Our immunogenomics pipeline to characterize these heterogeneous tumors and the resulting data are intended to serve as a resource for future targeted studies to further advance the field.

Wang QS, Shen SQ, Sun HW, et al.
Interferon-gamma induces autophagy-associated apoptosis through induction of cPLA2-dependent mitochondrial ROS generation in colorectal cancer cells.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2018; 498(4):1058-1065 [PubMed] Related Publications
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in females and the third in males. In this work, we aim to investigate the possible anti-cancer effects of interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) in CRC cells. We observed that IFN-γ induced mitochondria-derived reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in a time-dependent manner in SW480 and HCT116 cell lines. The IFN-γ-induced mitochondrial ROS generation was dependent on the activation of cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2). In addition, a mitochondria-targeted antioxidant SS31 and/or cPLA2 inhibitor AACOCF3 abolished the IFN-γ-induced ROS production and subsequent autophagy and apoptosis. Moreover, suppression of autophagy by CQ was able to reduce IFN-γ-induced cell apoptosis. Beclin-1 gene silencing resulted in caspase-3 inactivation, decreased Bax/Bcl-2 ratio and less population of apoptotic cells. Collectively, our results suggested that IFN-γ induces autophagy-associated apoptosis in CRC cells via inducing cPLA2-dependent mitochondrial ROS production.

E J, Yan F, Kang Z, et al.
Hum Immunol. 2018; 79(6):446-452 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tumor-draining lymph nodes (TDLNs) are the primary sites of tumor antigen presentation, as well as the origin of metastasis in most cases. Hence, the type and function of immune cells in TDLNs are critical to the microenvironment and potentially affect the clinical outcome of the malignancy. CD8

Gao Y, Yang J, Cai Y, et al.
IFN-γ-mediated inhibition of lung cancer correlates with PD-L1 expression and is regulated by PI3K-AKT signaling.
Int J Cancer. 2018; 143(4):931-943 [PubMed] Related Publications
IFN-γ plays a crucial role in anti-tumor responses and also induces expression of PD-L1, a well-established inhibitor of anti-tumor immune function. Understanding how molecular signaling regulates the function of IFN-γ might improve its anti-tumor efficacy. Here, we show that the tumor expression of IFN-γ expression alone has no significant prognostic value in patients with locally advanced lung adenocarcinoma. Surprisingly, patients with tumors expressing both IFN-γ and PD-L1 have the best prognosis compared to those with tumors expressing IFN-γ or PD-L1 alone. Transcriptome analysis demonstrated that tumor tissues expressing IFN-γ display gene expression associated with suppressed cell cycle progression and expansion. Unexpectedly this profile was observed in PD-L1

Eaton KD, Romine PE, Goodman GE, et al.
Inflammatory Gene Polymorphisms in Lung Cancer Susceptibility.
J Thorac Oncol. 2018; 13(5):649-659 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Chronic inflammation has been implicated in carcinogenesis, with increasing evidence of its role in lung cancer. We aimed to evaluate the role of genetic polymorphisms in inflammation-related genes in the risk for development of lung cancer.
METHODS: A nested case-control study design was used, and 625 cases and 625 well-matched controls were selected from participants in the β-Carotene and Retinol Efficacy Trial, which is a large, prospective lung cancer chemoprevention trial. The association between lung cancer incidence and survival and 23 polymorphisms descriptive of 11 inflammation-related genes (interferon gamma gene [IFNG], interleukin 10 gene [IL10], interleukin 1 alpha gene [IL1A], interleukin 1 beta gene [IL1B], interleukin 2 gene [IL2], interleukin 4 receptor gene [IL4R], interleukin 4 gene [IL4], interleukin 6 gene [IL6], prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 gene [PTGS2] (also known as COX2), transforming growth factor beta 1 gene [TGFB1], and tumor necrosis factor alpha gene [TNFA]) was evaluated.
RESULTS: Of the 23 polymorphisms, two were associated with risk for lung cancer. Compared with individuals with the wild-type (CC) variant, individuals carrying the minor allele variants of the IL-1β-511C>T promoter polymorphism (rs16944) (CT and TT) had decreased odds of lung cancer (OR = 0.74, [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.58-0.94] and OR = 0.71 [95% CI: 0.50-1.01], respectively, p = 0.03). Similar results were observed for the IL-1β-1464 C>G promoter polymorphism (rs1143623), with presence of the minor variants CG and CC having decreased odds of lung cancer (OR = 0.75 [95% CI: 0.59-0.95] and OR = 0.69 [95% CI: 0.46-1.03], respectively, p = 0.03). Survival was not influenced by genotype.
CONCLUSIONS: This study provides further evidence that IL1B promoter polymorphisms may modulate the risk for development of lung cancer.

Kleppe A, Albregtsen F, Vlatkovic L, et al.
Chromatin organisation and cancer prognosis: a pan-cancer study.
Lancet Oncol. 2018; 19(3):356-369 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Chromatin organisation affects gene expression and regional mutation frequencies and contributes to carcinogenesis. Aberrant organisation of DNA has been correlated with cancer prognosis in analyses of the chromatin component of tumour cell nuclei using image texture analysis. As yet, the methodology has not been sufficiently validated to permit its clinical application. We aimed to define and validate a novel prognostic biomarker for the automatic detection of heterogeneous chromatin organisation.
METHODS: Machine learning algorithms analysed the chromatin organisation in 461 000 images of tumour cell nuclei stained for DNA from 390 patients (discovery cohort) treated for stage I or II colorectal cancer at the Aker University Hospital (Oslo, Norway). The resulting marker of chromatin heterogeneity, termed Nucleotyping, was subsequently independently validated in six patient cohorts: 442 patients with stage I or II colorectal cancer in the Gloucester Colorectal Cancer Study (UK); 391 patients with stage II colorectal cancer in the QUASAR 2 trial; 246 patients with stage I ovarian carcinoma; 354 patients with uterine sarcoma; 307 patients with prostate carcinoma; and 791 patients with endometrial carcinoma. The primary outcome was cancer-specific survival.
FINDINGS: In all patient cohorts, patients with chromatin heterogeneous tumours had worse cancer-specific survival than patients with chromatin homogeneous tumours (univariable analysis hazard ratio [HR] 1·7, 95% CI 1·2-2·5, in the discovery cohort; 1·8, 1·0-3·0, in the Gloucester validation cohort; 2·2, 1·1-4·5, in the QUASAR 2 validation cohort; 3·1, 1·9-5·0, in the ovarian carcinoma cohort; 2·5, 1·8-3·4, in the uterine sarcoma cohort; 2·3, 1·2-4·6, in the prostate carcinoma cohort; and 4·3, 2·8-6·8, in the endometrial carcinoma cohort). After adjusting for established prognostic patient characteristics in multivariable analyses, Nucleotyping was prognostic in all cohorts except for the prostate carcinoma cohort (HR 1·7, 95% CI 1·1-2·5, in the discovery cohort; 1·9, 1·1-3·2, in the Gloucester validation cohort; 2·6, 1·2-5·6, in the QUASAR 2 cohort; 1·8, 1·1-3·0, for ovarian carcinoma; 1·6, 1·0-2·4, for uterine sarcoma; 1·43, 0·68-2·99, for prostate carcinoma; and 1·9, 1·1-3·1, for endometrial carcinoma). Chromatin heterogeneity was a significant predictor of cancer-specific survival in microsatellite unstable (HR 2·9, 95% CI 1·0-8·4) and microsatellite stable (1·8, 1·2-2·7) stage II colorectal cancer, but microsatellite instability was not a significant predictor of outcome in chromatin homogeneous (1·3, 0·7-2·4) or chromatin heterogeneous (0·8, 0·3-2·0) stage II colorectal cancer.
INTERPRETATION: The consistent prognostic prediction of Nucleotyping in different biological and technical circumstances suggests that the marker of chromatin heterogeneity can be reliably assessed in routine clinical practice and could be used to objectively assist decision making in a range of clinical settings. An immediate application would be to identify high-risk patients with stage II colorectal cancer who might have greater absolute benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy. Clinical trials are warranted to evaluate the survival benefit and cost-effectiveness of using Nucleotyping to guide treatment decisions in multiple clinical settings.
FUNDING: The Research Council of Norway, the South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority, the National Institute for Health Research, and the Wellcome Trust.

Wang H, Wang J, Shi X, Ding Y
Genetically engineered bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells co-expressing IFN-γ and IL-10 inhibit hepatocellular carcinoma by modulating MAPK pathway.
J BUON. 2017 Nov-Dec; 22(6):1517-1524 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: One of the major challenges in delivering cytokines for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the mode of delivery. This study hypothesized that genetically engineered bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) co-expressing IFN-γ and IL-10 can serve as a potential therapeutic strategy in the treatment of HCC by inhibiting cell proliferation.
METHODS: Male Sprague-Dawley rats (n=5, 200-250 g) for BMSCs isolation and Nude/SCID mice (n=35,12-20g) to develop liver cancer xenograft model were used. Mice were subcutaneously injected HepG2 cell suspension on left flank. BMSCs were genetically engineered with the recombinant lentiviral vectors expressing IFN-γ and IL-10. The experiments were performed in 5 groups (phosphate buffered saline/PBS, BMSCs, BMSC-IFN-γ, BMSC-IL-10 and BMSC-IFN-γ-IL-10) and the genetically engineered BMSCs were transplanted into HCC mice. Cell viability was measured by MTT assay followed by the evaluation of the effect of cell-cycle regulators (p21, p27, cyclin D1 and Rb). Protein expression of p38, ERK and JNK was assessed by immunohistochemistry using the cell proliferation marker Ki67.
RESULTS: The combination of two cytokines (IFN-γ and IL- 10) engineered into BMSCs resulted in a significant reduction in HepG2 cell viability (*p<0.05 vs PBS-treated and #p<0.05 vs BMSC-treated group). Significantly increased expression of cell cycle inhibitors p21 and p27 in parallel with reduced cyclin D1 expression were observed. Reduced phosphorylation of Rb demonstrated the repression of G1/S progression. BMSC-IFN-γ-IL-10 treatment significantly reduced the tumor growth at the end of 36 days compared to the group treated with PBS or BMSCs alone. This effect was accompanied with the modulation of MAPK pathway with the activation of p38 and JNK, and inactivation of ERK.
CONCLUSION: The co-expression of IFN-γ and IL-10 in BMSCs inhibits HCC in vitro and in vivo by modulating cell cycle regulators and MAPK pathway.

Michaelsen SR, Urup T, Olsen LR, et al.
Molecular profiling of short-term and long-term surviving patients identifies CD34 mRNA level as prognostic for glioblastoma survival.
J Neurooncol. 2018; 137(3):533-542 [PubMed] Related Publications
Despite extensive treatment, overall survival (OS) for glioblastoma (GBM) remains poor. A small proportion of patients present long survival over 3 years, but the underlying molecular background separating these long-term survivors (LTS) from short-term survivors (STS) are insufficiently understood. Accordingly, study aim was to identify independent prognostic biomarkers for survival. Study cohort consisted of 93 primary GBM patients treated with radiation-, chemo- and bevacizumab therapy, among which 14 STS (OS ≤ 12 months) and 6 LTS (OS ≥ 36 months) were identified, all confirmed being IDH wild-type. RNA expression levels in diagnostic tumor specimen for 792 genes were analyzed by NanoString technology. While no differences were found with regard to GBM subtype between LTS versus STS, comparative analysis of individual genes identified 14 significantly differently expressed candidate genes. Univariate analysis in the whole patient cohort found that 12 of these were significantly associated with OS, of which increased IFNG, CXCL9, LGALS4, CD34 and decreased MGMT levels remained significant associated with prolonged OS in multivariate analysis correcting for known prognostic variables. Validation analyses in an independent dataset from the AVAglio study confirmed CD34 as significant in comparative analysis between STS and LTS patients and as an independent prognostic factor. Analysis of this dataset further supported CD34 expression to be associated with improved bevacizumab efficacy, while CD34 immunohistochemistry indicated variation in CD34 expression to result primarily from varying tumor vascularization. Collectively, CD34 expression candidates as a prognostic biomarker in GBM able to identify survival outliers and could also be predictive for efficacy of bevacizumab.

Wen H, Ma H, Cai Q, et al.
Recurrent ECSIT mutation encoding V140A triggers hyperinflammation and promotes hemophagocytic syndrome in extranodal NK/T cell lymphoma.
Nat Med. 2018; 24(2):154-164 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hemophagocytic syndrome (HPS) is a fatal hyperinflammatory disease with a poorly understood mechanism that occurs most frequently in extranodal natural killer/T cell lymphoma (ENKTL). Through exome sequencing of ENKTL tumor-normal samples, we have identified a hotspot mutation (c.419T>C) in the evolutionarily conserved signaling intermediate in Toll pathway (ECSIT) gene, encoding a V140A variant of ECSIT. ECSIT-V140A activated NF-κB more potently than the wild-type protein owing to its increased affinity for the S100A8 and S100A9 heterodimer, which promotes NADPH oxidase activity. ECSIT-T419C knock-in mice showed higher peritoneal NADPH oxidase activity than mice with wild-type ECSIT in response to LPS. ECSIT-T419C-transfected ENKTL cell lines produced tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interferon (IFN)-γ, which induced macrophage activation and massive cytokine secretion in cell culture and mouse xenografts. In individuals with ENKTL, ECSIT-V140A was associated with activation of NF-κB, higher HPS incidence, and poor prognosis. The immunosuppressive drug thalidomide prevented NF-κB from binding to the promoters of its target genes (including TNF and IFNG), and combination treatment with thalidomide and dexamethasone extended survival of mice engrafted with ECSIT-T419C-transfected ENKTL cells. We added thalidomide to the conventional dexamethasone-containing therapy regimen for two patients with HPS who expressed ECSIT-V140A, and we observed reversal of their HPS and disease-free survival for longer than 3 years. These findings provide mechanistic insights and a potential therapeutic strategy for ENKTL-associated HPS.

Nakken S, Fournous G, Vodák D, et al.
Personal Cancer Genome Reporter: variant interpretation report for precision oncology.
Bioinformatics. 2018; 34(10):1778-1780 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Summary: Individual tumor genomes pose a major challenge for clinical interpretation due to their unique sets of acquired mutations. There is a general scarcity of tools that can (i) systematically interrogate cancer genomes in the context of diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic biomarkers, (ii) prioritize and highlight the most important findings and (iii) present the results in a format accessible to clinical experts. We have developed a stand-alone, open-source software package for somatic variant annotation that integrates a comprehensive set of knowledge resources related to tumor biology and therapeutic biomarkers, both at the gene and variant level. Our application generates a tiered report that will aid the interpretation of individual cancer genomes in a clinical setting.
Availability and implementation: The software is implemented in Python/R, and is freely available through Docker technology. Documentation, example reports, and installation instructions are accessible via the project GitHub page: https://github.com/sigven/pcgr.
Contact: sigven@ifi.uio.no.
Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

Zapka P, Dörner E, Dreschmann V, et al.
Type, Frequency, and Spatial Distribution of Immune Cell Infiltrates in CNS Germinomas: Evidence for Inflammatory and Immunosuppressive Mechanisms.
J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2018; 77(2):119-127 [PubMed] Related Publications
Central nervous system germinomas are characterized by a massive immune cell infiltrate. We systematically characterized these immune cells in 28 germinomas by immunophenotyping and image analysis. mRNA expression was analyzed by Nanostring technology and in situ RNA hybridization. Tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) were composed of 61.8% ± 3.1% (mean ± SE) CD3-positive T cells, including 45.2% ± 3.5% of CD4-positive T-helper cells, 23.4% ± 1.5% of CD8-positive cytotoxic T cells, 5.5% ± 0.9% of FoxP3-positive regulatory T cells, and 11.9% ±1.3% PD-1-positive TILs. B cells accounted for 35.8% ± 2.9% of TILs and plasma cells for 9.3% ± 1.6%. Tumor-associated macrophages consisted of clusters of activated PD-L1-positive macrophages and interspersed anti-inflammatory macrophages expressing CD163. Germinoma cells did not express PD-L1. Expression of genes encoding immune cell markers and cytokines was high and comparable to mRNA levels in lymph node tissue. IFNG and IL10 mRNA was detected in subfractions of TILs and in PD-L1-positive macrophages. Taken together, the strong immune reaction observed in germinomas involves inflammatory as well as various suppressive mechanisms. Expression of PD-1 and PD-L1 and infiltration of cytotoxic T cells are biomarkers predictive of response to anti-PD-1/PD-L1 therapies, constituting a rationale for possible novel treatment approaches.

Melsted WN, Matzen SH, Andersen MH, Hviid TVF
The choriocarcinoma cell line JEG-3 upregulates regulatory T cell phenotypes and modulates pro-inflammatory cytokines through HLA-G.
Cell Immunol. 2018; 324:14-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
An understanding of the interactions between immune cells and trophoblast cells, as well as choriocarcinoma cells, are of extreme importance in reproductive immunology and cancer immunology. In this study, we found that the human HLA-G-positive choriocarcinoma cell line JEG-3 upregulates CD4

Nishi M, Batsaikhan BE, Yoshikawa K, et al.
High STAT4 Expression Indicates Better Disease-free Survival in Patients with Gastric Cancer.
Anticancer Res. 2017; 37(12):6723-6729 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to investigate the significance of signal transducer and activator of transcription 4 (STAT4) expression and the correlation between STAT4 and interferon gamma (IFN-γ) in patients with gastric cancer.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Sixty-two patients who underwent gastrectomy for gastric cancer were enrolled in the study. STAT4 and IFNG mRNA expression was evaluated by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Immunohistochemistry was performed to examine CD8
RESULTS: STAT4 mRNA expression was significantly correlated with IFNG mRNA expression (p<0.05). Regarding disease-free survival, there was a significant difference between the groups with high and low STAT4 expression (5-year disease-free survival: 77.8% and 56.4%, p<0.05). Univariate analysis revealed that tumor differentiation and STAT4 expression were significant factors for tumor recurrence.
CONCLUSION: High expression of STAT4 in gastric cancer predicted a better clinical outcome. STAT4 might be a useful biomarker to identify patients at high risk of recurrence after gastrectomy.

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