Research Papers:

Bioinformatics and in vitro experimental analyses identify the selective therapeutic potential of interferon gamma and apigenin against cervical squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma

Pei-Ming Yang, Chia-Jung Chou, Ssu-Hsueh Tseng and Chien-Fu Hung _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:46145-46162. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.17574

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Pei-Ming Yang1,3, Chia-Jung Chou3, Ssu-Hsueh Tseng1 and Chien-Fu Hung1,2

1Department of Pathology, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD, United States

2Department of Oncology, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD, United States

3Graduate Institute of Cancer Biology and Drug Discovery, College of Medical Science and Technology, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan

Correspondence to:

Chien-Fu Hung, email: [email protected]

Keywords: cell cycle, cervical cancer, drug repurposing, flavonoid, interferon

Received: July 07, 2016    Accepted: April 05, 2017    Published: May 02, 2017


The clinical management and treatment of cervical cancer, one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers and a leading cause of cancer-related female death, remains a huge challenge for researchers and health professionals. Cervical cancer can be categorized into two major subtypes: common squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and adenocarcinoma (AC). Although it is a relatively rare histological subtype of cervical cancer, there has been a steady increase in the incidences of AC. Therefore, new strategies to treat cervical cancer are urgently needed. In this study, the potential uses of IFNγ-based therapy for cervical cancer were evaluated using bioinformatics approaches. Gene expression profiling identified that cell cycle dysregulation was a major hallmark of cervical cancer including SCC and AC subtypes, and was associated with poor clinical outcomes for cervical cancer patients. In silico and in vitro experimental analyses demonstrated that IFNγ treatment could reverse the cervical cancer hallmark and induce cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Furthermore, we demonstrated that apigenin could enhance the anticancer activity of IFNγ in a HeLa cervical AC cell line by targeting cyclin-dependent kinase 1. Taken together, the present study suggests the selective therapeutic potential of IFNγ alone or in combination with apigenin for managing cervical SCC and AC.

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