Effects of micro-environment- and malignant cell-derived interleukin-1 in carcinogenesis, tumour invasiveness and tumour-host interactions

Ron N. Apte*, Yakov Krelin, Xiaoping Song, Shahar Dotan, Eli Recih, Moshe Elkabets, Yaron Carmi, Tatyana Dvorkin, Roslayn M. White, Lubov Gayvoronsky, Shraga Segal, Elena Voronov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Interleukin-1 (IL-1) comprises a family of closely related genes; the two major agonistic proteins, IL-1α and IL-1β, are pleiotropic and affect mainly inflammation, immunity and haemopoiesis. IL-1β is active solely in its secreted form, whereas IL-1α is active mainly as an intracellular precursor. IL-1 is abundant at tumour sites, where it may affect the process of carcinogenesis, tumour growth and invasiveness and the patterns of tumour-host interactions. Here, we review the effects of micro-environment- and tumour cell-derived IL-1 on malignant processes in experimental tumour models. We propose that membrane-associated IL-1α expressed on malignant cells stimulates anti-tumour immunity, while secretable IL-1β derived from the micro-environment or the malignant cells, activates inflammation that promotes invasiveness and induces tumour-mediated suppression. Inhibition of the function of IL-1 by the inhibitor of IL-1, interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra), reduces tumour invasiveness and alleviates tumour-mediated suppression, pointing to its feasible use in cancer therapy. Differential manipulation of IL-1α and IL-1β in malignant cells or in the tumour's micro-environment may open new possibilities for using IL-1 in cancer immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)751-759
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Issue number6
StatePublished - Apr 2006
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
German–Israeli DIP
Israel Ministry of Science
United States-Israel Bi-national Foundation
Concern Foundation
Maryland Ornithological Society
German Cancer Research Center
Association for International Cancer Research
United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation
Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities
Israel Cancer Association
Israel Science Foundation
Office of the Chief Scientist, Ministry of Health


    • Anti-tumour immunity
    • Carcinogenesis
    • IL-1α
    • IL-1β
    • Immunogenicity
    • Tumour invasiveness
    • Tumour-host interactions


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