Interleukin-18 induces transferrin expression in breast cancer cell line MCF-7

Sunyoung Park, Sun Young Yoon, Kyung Eun Kim, Ha Reum Lee, Dae Young Hur, Hyunkeun Song, Daejin Kim, Sa Ik Bang, Dae Ho Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Interleukin-18 (IL-18) has recently been shown to have a pro-cancer effect in various cancers. Increased serum levels of both IL-18 and transferrin in cancer patients are correlated with its malignancy. However, the relationship between transferrin and IL-18 is not well understood. Here, we show that exogenous transferrin enhanced breast cancer cell proliferation and the proliferation rate was reduced when endogenous transferrin expression was inhibited by transferrin siRNA. The expression of endogenous transferrin was found to be regulated by IL-18. Furthermore, we found that the MAPK pathway is involved in IL-18-induced transferrin production. In conclusion, IL-18 is suggested as an inducer of endogenous transferrin expression in breast cancer cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-195
Number of pages7
JournalCancer letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Dec 28
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Korea Science & Engineering Foundation (KOSEF) through the Research Center for Women’s Disease (RCWD) at Sookmyung Women’s University, the Korea Research Foundation Grant funded by the Korean Government (MOEHRD) (KRF-2006-005-J02202) and Seoul Research and Business Development Program (10582).


  • Breast cancer
  • Interleukin-18 (IL-18)
  • Proliferation
  • Transferrin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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