Role of schlafen 2 (SLFN2) in the generation of interferon α-induced growth inhibitory responses

Efstratios Katsoulidis, Nathalie Carayol, Jennifer Woodard, Iwona Konieczna, Beata Majchrzak-Kita, Alison Jordan, Antonella Sassano, Elizabeth A. Eklund, Eleanor N. Fish, Leonidas C. Platanias*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


The precise STAT-regulated gene targets that inhibit cell growth and generate the antitumor effects of Type I interferons (IFNs) remain unknown. We provide evidence that Type I IFNs regulate expression of Schlafens (SLFNs), a group of genes involved in the control of cell cycle progression and growth inhibitory responses. Using cells with targeted disruption of different STAT proteins and/or the p38 MAP kinase, we demonstrate that the IFN-dependent expression of distinct Schlafen genes is differentially regulated by STAT complexes and the p38 MAP kinase pathway. We also provide evidence for a key functional role of a member of the SLFN family, SLFN2, in the induction of the growth-suppressive effects of IFNs. This is shown in studies demonstrating that knockdown of SLFN2 enhances hematopoietic progenitor colony formation and reverses the growth-suppressive effects of IFNα on normal hematopoietic progenitors. Importantly, NIH3T3 or L929 cells with stable knockdown of SLFN2 form more colonies in soft agar, implicating this protein in the regulation of anchorage-independent growth. Altogether, our data implicate SLFN2 as a negative regulator of the metastatic and growth potential of malignant cells and strongly suggest a role for the SLFN family of proteins in the generation of the antiproliferative effects of Type I IFNs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25051-25064
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number37
StatePublished - Sep 11 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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