Mechanisms of disease: Insights into the emerging role of signal transducers and activators of transcription in cancer.
ABSTRACT Members of the signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT) pathway, which were originally identified as key components linking cytokine signals to transcriptional events in cells, have recently been demonstrated to have a major role in cancer. They are cytoplasmic proteins that form functional dimers with each other when activated by tyrosine phosphorylation. Activated STAT proteins translocate to the nucleus to regulate expression of genes by binding to specific elements within gene promoters. Constitutive activation of the STAT family members Stat3 and Stat5, and/or loss of Stat1 signaling, is found in a large group of diverse tumors. Increasing evidence demonstrates that STAT proteins can regulate many pathways important in oncogenesis including cell-cycle progression, apoptosis, tumor angiogenesis, tumor-cell invasion and metastasis, and tumor-cell evasion of the immune system. Based on these findings, a growing effort is underway to target STAT proteins directly and indirectly for cancer therapy. This review will highlight STAT signaling pathways, STAT target genes involved in cancer, evidence for STAT activation in human cancers, and therapeutic strategies to target STAT molecules for anticancer therapy.
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ABSTRACT: Signal transducers and activators of transcription (STATs) comprise a unique family of transcription factors, which transmit the interactions of cytokines, hormones and growth factors with their cell surface receptors into transcriptional programs. The mechanism of STAT activation has been well-established and comprises tyrosine phosphorylation, dimerization, nuclear translocation, binding to specific DNA response elements, recruitment of co-activators or co-repressors and transcriptional induction or repression of target genes. Gene deletion, microarrays, proteomics and chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments have revealed target genes with a broad range of functions regulated by STAT3 and STAT5. In the mammary gland, STAT5-induced genes contribute mainly to the prolactin dependent lobulo-alveolar development, whereas STAT3 induced genes control apoptosis during involution. Crucial effects have also been observed in other tissues. The germ line deletion of STAT3 or STAT5 causes early embryonal or perinatal lethality in mice. STAT5 is also required for proliferation of T- and B-cells and hematopoietic stem cell self-renewal. Deregulated STAT activity is often found associated with tumorigenesis and activated STATs seem to be limiting components in tumor cells. This review summarizes the functions of STAT3 and STAT5 in different cell types and the strategies that are used to counteract their action in tumor cells.Journal of Mammary Gland Biology and Neoplasia 02/2006; 11(1):75-87. · 7.52 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Cetuximab and panitumumab, mAbs targeting EGFR, are registered for metastatic colorectal carcinoma (mCRC) patients whose tumors express EGFR as determined by immunohistochemistry. However, this method is not predictive of treatment efficacy. KRAS, the human homolog of the Kirsten rat sarcoma-2 virus oncogene, encodes a small G-protein that functions downstream of EGFR-induced signalling. To examine KRAS mutations as predictive factors of response to anti-EGFR mAbs using recently published data. Several retrospective studies show that efficacy of these mAbs is confined to patients with wild type KRAS and genotyping of tumors should be considered before treatment. The absence of KRAS mutations does not guarantee an improved likelihood of response to cetuximab and panitumumab. Investigation of other genetic and epigenetic biomarkers will be useful to further refine the responder population. Prospective studies to test the efficacy of combined therapies simultaneously targeting EGFR and the RAS/RAF/MAPK signalling pathways for mCRC are warranted.Expert opinion on biological therapy 05/2009; 9(5):565-77. · 3.22 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Using a cell-based high-throughput screen designed to detect small chemical compounds that inhibit cell growth and survival, we identified three structurally related compounds, 21A8, 21H7, and 65D4, with differential activity on cancer versus normal cells. Introduction of structural modifications yielded compound M-110, which inhibits the proliferation of prostate cancer cell lines with IC(50)s of 0.6 to 0.9 μmol/L, with no activity on normal human peripheral blood mononuclear cells up to 40 μmol/L. Screening of 261 recombinant kinases and subsequent analysis revealed that M-110 is a selective inhibitor of the PIM kinase family, with preference for PIM-3. The prostate cancer cell line DU-145 and the pancreatic cancer cell line MiaPaCa2 constitutively express activated STAT3 (pSTAT3(Tyr705)). Treatment of DU-145 cells with M-110 or with a structurally unrelated PIM inhibitor, SGI-1776, significantly reduces pSTAT3(Tyr705) expression without affecting the expression of STAT3. Furthermore, treatment of DU-145 cells with M-110 attenuates the interleukin-6-induced increase in pSTAT3(Tyr705). To determine which of the three PIM kinases is most likely to inhibit expression of pSTAT3(Tyr705), we used PIM-1-, PIM-2-, or PIM-3-specific siRNA and showed that knockdown of PIM-3, but not of PIM-1 or PIM-2, in DU-145 cells results in a significant downregulation of pSTAT3(Tyr705). The phosphorylation of STAT5 on Tyr694 in 22Rv1 cells is not affected by M-110 or SGI-1776, suggesting specificity for pSTAT3(Tyr705). These results identify a novel role for PIM-3 kinase as a positive regulator of STAT3 signaling and suggest that PIM-3 inhibitors cause growth inhibition of cancer cells by downregulating the expression of pSTAT3(Tyr705).Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 09/2010; 9(9):2478-87. · 5.60 Impact Factor