Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) synergistically enhanced the antiproliferative activity of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) in both TNF-sensitive and TNF-resistant variants of the cervical carcinoma line, ME-180. TNF alone had no apparent effect on the levels of synthesis of individual proteins in either of these variant cell lines as assessed by computerized two-dimensional gel analysis of cell lysates using the PDQUEST system. However, IFN-gamma enhanced the levels of 18 polypeptides and suppressed the levels of 10 polypeptides in both cell lines. When used in combination in both cell lines, TNF and IFN-gamma induced the synthesis of 10 polypeptides that were not induced by either agent alone. These synergistically induced polypeptides may be crucial to the mechanism of the synergistic antiproliferative action of TNF and IFN-gamma in ME-180 cells.