Research Summary: Interleukin-22 Suppresses the Growth of A498 Renal Cell Carcinoma Cells via Regulation of STAT1 Pathway



Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is one of the most common kidney cancers and is highly resistant to chemotherapy. Accumulating evidence suggests that interleukin-22 (IL-22) may mediate host defense against varietal pathogens as a proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokine. The purpose of this study is to assess the inhibitory effects of IL-22 on human RCC cell line A498 and to investigate the possible mechanisms underlying the anti-tumor effects of this cytokine.


A498 cells, a RCC cell line, were used to assess the inhibitory growth effects of IL-22 using the MTT assay and flow cytometric analysis in vitro. BALB/C nude mice bearing A498 cell xenografts were used to examine the antitumor efficacy of IL-22 in vivo. Western blotting assay was performed to detect the regulation of the intracellular signaling pathway of IL-22.

Principal Findings

We found that IL-22 suppressed the growth of A498 cells in a dose-dependent manner and inhibited the growth of A498 xenografts. We also observed that IL-22 produced a dose-dependent inhibitory effect on A498 cells that involved the induction of G2/M cell cycle arrest without cell apoptosis. Moreover, we showed that the phosphorylation of STAT1 was increased and the phosphorylation of ERK1/2 was attenuated in A498 cells exposed to IL-22. The growth inhibition of A498 cells was partially revised after IL-22 treatment as the expression of STAT1 was knocked down. And inflammatory cytokines, interferon-α and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) were barely involved in the suppression of A498 cell xenografts treated with IL-22.


IL-22 dose-dependently suppresses RCC cell line A498 cells in vitro and induces growth inhibition of A498 cell-bearing mouse xenografts. These results suggest that the anti-RCC effects of IL-22 are at least partially mediated through regulation of STAT1 signaling pathways and G2/M cell cycle arrest, rather than by inducing apoptosis and inflammatory cytokines.


Publisher: Public Library of Science

Date Published: 23-May-2011

Author(s): Zhang F., Shang D., Zhang Y., Tian Y.


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