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Recombinant human interferon-alpha 2C and recombinant human interferon-gamma (5-1000 U/ml) inhibit the proliferation of normal human bone-derived cells and a human osteosarcoma cell line. In the bone-derived cells the inhibitory effect of interferon-gamma was significantly greater than that of interferon-alpha, whereas in the osteosarcoma cell line the inhibitory effects of both interferons were quantitatively similar. Interferon-alpha did not affect the alkaline phosphatase activity of either type of cells. In contrast, interferon-gamma affected the activity of the enzyme in both cell types: in the bone-derived cells the effect of interferon-gamma was stimulatory whereas in the osteosarcoma cells the effect was inhibitory. In both cell types interferon-gamma selectively inhibited the incorporation of radiolabelled proline into type I collagen. In the osteosarcoma cells, the effects of both interferons on collagen synthesis were quantitatively similar. In the bone-derived cells, however, interferon-alpha decreased proline incorporation into collagen and non-collagen proteins to a similar extent and thus did not affect collagen synthesis when expressed as a percentage of total protein synthesis. Two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of the radiolabelled proteins of the cell layer synthesised by both cell types in the presence of either interferon demonstrated that this treatment enhanced or induced the synthesis of a total of 21 individual proteins (19 in bone cells, 14 in osteosarcoma), ranging in apparent molecular mass over 14-87 kDa. The set of proteins induced was different in all four combinations of cells and interferon. A tentative identification of several of the proteins was possible based upon estimation of molecular mass, preferential induction by interferon-alpha or interferon-gamma and differential induction in normal and transformed bone-derived cells. The results of this study demonstrate that interferons have complex effects upon the proliferative and biosynthetic activities of human bone-derived cells and demonstrate significant differences between the responses of normal cells and transformed bone-derived cell line. Further investigations will be required in order to determine whether or not these differences are unique to the osteosarcoma cell line or are a characteristic of the effects of interferons on bone-derived cells in general.


Journal article


Eur j biochem

Publication Date





589 - 597


Adolescent, Alkaline Phosphatase, Bone and Bones, Cell Differentiation, Cell Division, Cells, Cultured, Collagen, Electrophoresis, Gel, Two-Dimensional, Female, Humans, Interferon Type I, Interferon-gamma, Protein Biosynthesis, Recombinant Proteins, Tumor Cells, Cultured