Improved therapeutic efficacy of mammalian expressed-recombinant interferon gamma against ovarian cancer cells

Ali Razaghi, Carina Villacrés, Vincent Jung, Narges Mashkour, Michael Butler, Leigh Owens, Kirsten Ruth Heimann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Human interferon gamma (hIFNγ) affects tumour cells and modulates immune responses, showing promise as an anti-cancer biotherapeutic. This study investigated the effect of glycosylation and expression system of recombinant hIFNγ in ovarian carcinoma cell lines, PEO1 and SKOV3. The efficacy of E. coli- and mammalian-expressed hIFNγ (hIFNγ-CHO and HEK293, glycosylated/de-glycosylated) on cytostasis, cell death (MTT, and Guava-ViaCount® flow-cytometry) and apoptotic signalling (Western blot of Cdk2, histone H3, procaspase-3, FADD, cleaved PARP, and caspase-3) was examined. Hydrophilic Interaction Liquid Chromatography determined the structure of N-linked glycans present in HEK293-expressed hIFNγ (hIFNγ-HEK). PEO1 was more sensitive to hIFNγ than SKOV3, but responses were dose-dependent and expression platform/glycosylation status-independent, whereas SKOV3 responded to mammalian-expressed hIFNγ in a dose-independent manner, only. Complex-type oligosaccharides dominated the N-glycosylation pattern of hIFNγ-HEK with some terminal sialylation and core fucosylation. Cleaved PARP and cleaved caspase-3 were not detected in either cell line, but FADD was expressed in SKOV3 with levels increased following treatment. In conclusion, hIFNγ did not induce apoptosis in either cell line. Mammalian- expressed hIFNγ increased cell death in the drug-resistant SKOV3. The presence of FADD in SKOV3, which may inhibit apoptosis through activation of NF-κB, could serve as a novel therapeutic target.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-29
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017


  • FADD
  • Glycosylation
  • Interferon gamma
  • Ovarian cancer
  • SKOV3
  • Therapeutic efficacy


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