Gene Summary

Gene:STAT1; signal transducer and activator of transcription 1, 91kDa
Aliases: CANDF7, IMD31A, IMD31B, IMD31C, ISGF-3, STAT91
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a member of the STAT protein family. In response to cytokines and growth factors, STAT family members are phosphorylated by the receptor associated kinases, and then form homo- or heterodimers that translocate to the cell nucleus where they act as transcription activators. This protein can be activated by various ligands including interferon-alpha, interferon-gamma, EGF, PDGF and IL6. This protein mediates the expression of a variety of genes, which is thought to be important for cell viability in response to different cell stimuli and pathogens. Two alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding distinct isoforms have been described. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:signal transducer and activator of transcription 1-alpha/beta
Source:NCBIAccessed: 25 June, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (52)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (14)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 25 June 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • STAT3 Transcription Factor
  • JAK1
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • TNF
  • Drug Resistance
  • Gene Expression
  • Down-Regulation
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Apoptosis
  • Chromosome 2
  • Vault Ribonucleoprotein Particles
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • DNA Sequence Analysis
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Promoter Regions
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
  • DNA Methylation
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Signal Transduction
  • Mutation
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Survival Rate
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Up-Regulation
  • Breast Cancer
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Phosphorylation
  • Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling Proteins
  • Tumor Markers
  • Uvea
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • STAT5 Transcription Factor
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • STAT1 Transcription Factor
  • p53 Protein
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Melanoma
  • Western Blotting
  • Messenger RNA
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
Tag cloud generated 25 June, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (2)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: STAT1 (cancer-related)

Jian T, Chen Y
Regulatory mechanisms of transcription factors and target genes on gastric cancer by bioinformatics method.
Hepatogastroenterology. 2015 Mar-Apr; 62(138):524-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Gastric cancer is one of the most lethal diseases and has caused a global health problem. We aimed to elucidate the major mechanisms involved in the gastric cancer progression.
METHODOLOGY: The expression profile GSE13911 was downloaded from GEO database, composing of 31 normal and 38 tumor samples. The transcription factor (TF)--target gene regulatory network and protein-protein interaction (PPI) network related to gastric cancer were obtained from TRED and TRANSFAC databases. After combining the two networks, we constructed an integrated network.
RESULTS: In total, 5255 DEGs in tumor samples were identified, which were mainly enriched in 12 pathways including cell cycle. The integrated network of TF--target gene--protein interaction included 7 genes related to cell cycle, in which E2F1 was predicted to mediate the expression of MCM4, MCM5 and CDC6 through regulating the expression of its target gene MCM3.
CONCLUSION: In gastric cancer progression, E2F1 may play vital roles in the involvement of cell cycle pathway through regulating its target gene MCM3, which might interact with MCM4, MCM5 and MCM7. Besides, STAT1 was another potentially critical transcription factor which could regulate multiple target genes.

Koti M, Siu A, Clément I, et al.
A distinct pre-existing inflammatory tumour microenvironment is associated with chemotherapy resistance in high-grade serous epithelial ovarian cancer.
Br J Cancer. 2015; 112(7):1215-22 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 31/03/2016 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Chemotherapy resistance is a major determinant of poor overall survival rates in high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSC). We have previously shown that gene expression alterations affecting the NF-κB pathway characterise chemotherapy resistance in HGSC, suggesting that the regulation of an immune response may be associated with this phenotype.
METHODS: Given that intrinsic drug resistance pre-exists and is governed by both tumour and host factors, the current study was performed to examine the cross-talk between tumour inflammatory microenvironment and cancer cells, and their roles in mediating differential chemotherapy response in HGSC patients. Expression profiling of a panel of 184 inflammation-related genes was performed in 15 chemoresistant and 19 chemosensitive HGSC tumours using the NanoString nCounter platform.
RESULTS: A total of 11 significantly differentially expressed genes were found to distinguish the two groups. As STAT1 was the most significantly differentially expressed gene (P=0.003), we validated the expression of STAT1 protein by immunohistochemistry using an independent cohort of 183 (52 resistant and 131 sensitive) HGSC cases on a primary tumour tissue microarray. Relative expression levels were subjected to Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and Cox proportional hazard regression models.
CONCLUSIONS: This study confirms that higher STAT1 expression is significantly associated with increased progression-free survival and that this protein together with other mediators of tumour-host microenvironment can be applied as a novel response predictive biomarker in HGSC. Furthermore, an overall underactive immune microenvironment suggests that the pre-existing state of the tumour immune microenvironment could determine response to chemotherapy in HGSC.

Kaowinn S, Cho IR, Moon J, et al.
Pancreatic adenocarcinoma upregulated factor (PAUF) confers resistance to pancreatic cancer cells against oncolytic parvovirus H-1 infection through IFNA receptor-mediated signaling.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2015; 459(2):313-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pancreatic adenocarcinoma upregulated factor (PAUF), a novel oncogene, plays a crucial role in the development of pancreatic cancer, including its metastasis and proliferation. Therefore, PAUF-expressing pancreatic cancer cells could be important targets for oncolytic virus-mediated treatment. Panc-1 cells expressing PAUF (Panc-PAUF) showed relative resistance to parvovirus H-1 infection compared with Panc-1 cells expressing an empty vector (Panc-Vec). Of interest, expression of type I IFN-α receptor (IFNAR) was higher in Panc-PAUF cells than in Panc-Vec cells. Increased expression of IFNAR in turn increased the activation of Stat1 and Tyk2 in Panc-PAUF cells compared with that in Panc-Vec cells. Suppression of Tyk2 and Stat1, which are important downstream molecules for IFN-α signaling, sensitized pancreatic cancer cells to parvovirus H-1-mediated apoptosis. Further, constitutive suppression of PAUF sensitized Bxpc3 pancreatic cancer cells to parvovirus H-1 infection. Taken together, these results suggested that PAUF conferred resistance to pancreatic cancer cells against oncolytic parvovirus H-1 infection through IFNAR-mediated signaling.

Litvin O, Schwartz S, Wan Z, et al.
Interferon α/β Enhances the Cytotoxic Response of MEK Inhibition in Melanoma.
Mol Cell. 2015; 57(5):784-96 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 05/03/2016 Related Publications
Drugs that inhibit the MAPK pathway have therapeutic benefit in melanoma, but responses vary between patients, for reasons that are still largely unknown. Here we aim at explaining this variability using pre- and post-MEK inhibition transcriptional profiles in a panel of melanoma cell lines. We found that most targets are context specific, under the influence of the pathway in only a subset of cell lines. We developed a computational method to identify context-specific targets, and found differences in the activity levels of the interferon pathway, driven by a deletion of the interferon locus. We also discovered that IFNα/β treatment strongly enhances the cytotoxic effect of MEK inhibition, but only in cell lines with low activity of interferon pathway. Taken together, our results suggest that the interferon pathway plays an important role in, and predicts, the response to MAPK inhibition in melanoma. Our analysis demonstrates the value of system-wide perturbation data in predicting drug response.

Palchetti S, Starace D, De Cesaris P, et al.
Transfected poly(I:C) activates different dsRNA receptors, leading to apoptosis or immunoadjuvant response in androgen-independent prostate cancer cells.
J Biol Chem. 2015; 290(9):5470-83 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 27/02/2016 Related Publications
Despite the effectiveness of surgery or radiation therapy for the treatment of early-stage prostate cancer (PCa), there is currently no effective strategy for late-stage disease. New therapeutic targets are emerging; in particular, dsRNA receptors Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) and cytosolic helicases expressed by cancer cells, once activated, exert a pro-apoptotic effect in different tumors. We previously demonstrated that the synthetic analog of dsRNA poly(I:C) induces apoptosis in the androgen-dependent PCa cell line LNCaP in a TLR3-dependent fashion, whereas only a weak apoptotic effect is observed in the more aggressive and androgen-independent PCa cells PC3 and DU145. In this paper, we characterize the receptors and the signaling pathways involved in the remarkable apoptosis induced by poly(I:C) transfected by Lipofectamine (in-poly(I:C)) compared with the 12-fold higher free poly(I:C) concentration in PC3 and DU145 cells. By using genetic inhibition of different poly(I:C) receptors, we demonstrate the crucial role of TLR3 and Src in in-poly(I:C)-induced apoptosis. Therefore, we show that the increased in-poly(I:C) apoptotic efficacy is due to a higher binding of endosomal TLR3. On the other hand, we show that in-poly(I:C) binding to cytosolic receptors MDA5 and RIG-I triggers IRF3-mediated signaling, leading uniquely to the up-regulation of IFN-β, which likely in turn induces increased TLR3, MDA5, and RIG-I proteins. In summary, in-poly(I:C) activates two distinct antitumor pathways in PC3 and DU145 cells: one mediated by the TLR3/Src/STAT1 axis, leading to apoptosis, and the other one mediated by MDA5/RIG-I/IRF3, leading to immunoadjuvant IFN-β expression.

Yildiz M, Li H, Bernard D, et al.
Activating STAT6 mutations in follicular lymphoma.
Blood. 2015; 125(4):668-79 [PubMed] Related Publications
Follicular lymphoma (FL) is the second most common non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the Western world. FL cell-intrinsic and cell-extrinsic factors influence FL biology and clinical outcome. To further our understanding of the genetic basis of FL, we performed whole-exome sequencing of 23 highly purified FL cases and 1 transformed FL case and expanded findings to a combined total of 114 FLs. We report recurrent mutations in the transcription factor STAT6 in 11% of FLs and identified the STAT6 amino acid residue 419 as a novel STAT6 mutation hotspot (p.419D/G, p.419D/A, and p.419D/H). FL-associated STAT6 mutations were activating, as evidenced by increased transactivation in HEK293T cell-based transfection/luciferase reporter assays, heightened interleukin-4 (IL-4) -induced activation of target genes in stable STAT6 transfected lymphoma cell lines, and elevated baseline expression levels of STAT6 target genes in primary FL B cells harboring mutant STAT6. Mechanistically, FL-associated STAT6 mutations facilitated nuclear residency of STAT6, independent of IL-4-induced STAT6-Y641 phosphorylation. Structural modeling of STAT6 based on the structure of the STAT1-DNA complex revealed that most FL-associated STAT6 mutants locate to the STAT6-DNA interface, potentially facilitating heightened interactions. The genetic and functional data combined strengthen the recognition of the IL-4/JAK/STAT6 axis as a driver of FL pathogenesis.

Huang H, Langenkamp E, Georganaki M, et al.
VEGF suppresses T-lymphocyte infiltration in the tumor microenvironment through inhibition of NF-κB-induced endothelial activation.
FASEB J. 2015; 29(1):227-38 [PubMed] Related Publications
Antiangiogenic treatment targeting the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signaling pathway is in clinical use, but its effect on vascular function and the tumor microenvironment is poorly understood. Here, we investigate cross-talk between VEGF and proinflammatory TNF-α signaling in endothelial cells and its impact on leukocyte recruitment. We found that cotreatment with VEGF decreased TNF-α-induced Jurkat cell adhesion to human microvascular endothelial cells by 40%. This was associated with inhibition of TNF-α-mediated regulation of 86 genes, including 2 T-lymphocyte-attracting chemokines, CXCL10 and CXCL11 [TNF-α concentration 1 ng/ml; 50% inhibition/inhibitory concentration (IC50) VEGF, 3 ng/ml]. Notably, VEGF directly suppressed TNF-α-induced gene expression through negative cross-talk with the NF-κB-signaling pathway, leading to an early decrease in IFN regulatory factor 1 (IRF-1) expression and reduced phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (p-Stat1) at later times. Inhibition of VEGF signaling in B16 melanoma tumor-bearing mice by sunitinib treatment resulted in up-regulation of CXCL10 and CXCL11 in tumor vessels, accompanied by up to 18-fold increased infiltration of CD3(+) T-lymphocytes in B16 tumors. Our results demonstrate a novel role of VEGF in negative regulation of NF-κB signaling and endothelial activation in the tumor microenvironment and provide evidence that pharmacological inhibition of VEGF signaling enhances T-lymphocyte recruitment through up-regulation of chemokines CXCL10 and CXCL11.

Wang X, Breeze A, Kulka M
N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids inhibit IFN-γ-induced IL-18 binding protein production by prostate cancer cells.
Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2015; 64(2):249-58 [PubMed] Related Publications
Prostate cancer cells can produce IL-18 binding protein (IL-18BP) in response to interferon-γ (IFN-γ), which may function to neutralize IL-18, an anti-tumor factor formerly known as IFN-γ inducing factor. The consumption of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) has been associated with a lower risk of certain types of cancer including prostate cancer, although the precise mechanisms of this effect are poorly understood. We hypothesized that n-3 PUFAs could modify IL-18BP production by prostate cancer cells by altering IFN-γ receptor-mediated signal transduction. Here, we demonstrate that n-3 PUFA treatment significantly reduced IFN-γ-induced IL-18BP production by DU-145 and PC-3 prostate cancer cells by inhibiting IL-18BP mRNA expression and was associated with a reduction in IFN-γ receptor expression. Furthermore, IFN-γ-induced phosphorylation of Janus kinase 1 (JAK1), signal transducers and activators of transcription 1 (STAT1), extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2), and P38 were suppressed by n-3 PUFA treatment. By contrast, n-6 PUFA had no effect on IFN-γ receptor expression, but decreased IFN-γ-induced IL-18BP production and IFN-γ stimulation of JAK1, STAT1, ERK1/2, and JNK phosphorylation. These data indicate that both n-3 and n-6 PUFAs may be beneficial in prostate cancer by altering IFN-γ signaling, thus inhibiting IL-18BP production and thereby rendering prostate cancer cells more sensitive to IL-18-mediated immune responses.

Velusamy T, Kiel MJ, Sahasrabuddhe AA, et al.
A novel recurrent NPM1-TYK2 gene fusion in cutaneous CD30-positive lymphoproliferative disorders.
Blood. 2014; 124(25):3768-71 [PubMed] Related Publications
The spectrum of cutaneous CD30-positive lymphoproliferative disorders (LPDs) includes lymphomatoid papulosis and primary cutaneous anaplastic large cell lymphoma. Chromosomal translocations targeting tyrosine kinases in CD30-positive LPDs have not been described. Using whole-transcriptome sequencing, we identified a chimeric fusion involving NPM1 (5q35) and TYK2 (19p13) that encodes an NPM1-TYK2 protein containing the oligomerization domain of NPM1 and an intact catalytic domain in TYK2. Fluorescence in situ hybridization revealed NPM1-TYK2 fusions in 2 of 47 (4%) primary cases of CD30-positive LPDs and was absent in other mature T-cell neoplasms (n = 151). Functionally, NPM1-TYK2 induced constitutive TYK2, signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1), STAT3, and STAT5 activation. Conversely, a kinase-defective NPM1-TYK2 mutant abrogated STAT1/3/5 signaling. Finally, short hairpin RNA-mediated silencing of TYK2 abrogated lymphoma cell growth. This is the first report of recurrent translocations involving TYK2, and it highlights the novel therapeutic opportunities in the treatment of CD30-positive LPDs with TYK2 translocations.

Slattery ML, Wolff RK, Lundgreen A
A pathway approach to evaluating the association between the CHIEF pathway and risk of colorectal cancer.
Carcinogenesis. 2015; 36(1):49-59 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2016 Related Publications
Inflammation, hormones and energy-related factors have been associated with colorectal cancer (CRC) and it has been proposed that convergence and interactions of these factors importantly influence CRC risk. We have previously hypothesized that genetic variation in the CHIEF (convergence of hormones, inflammation and energy-related factors) pathway would influence risk of CRC. In this paper, we utilize an Adaptive Rank Truncation Product (ARTP) statistical method to determine the overall pathway significance and then use that method to identify the key elements within the pathway associated with disease risk. Data from two population-based case-control studies of colon (n = 1555 cases and 1956 controls) and rectal (n = 754 cases and 959 controls) cancer were used. We use ARTP to estimate pathway and gene significance and polygenic scores based on ARTP findings to further estimate the risk associated with the pathway. Associations were further assessed based on tumor molecular phenotype. The CHIEF pathway was statistically significant for colon cancer (P(ARTP)= 0.03) with the most significant interferons (P(ARTP) = 0.0253), JAK/STAT/SOCS (P(ARTP) = 0.0111), telomere (P(ARTP) = 0.0399) and transforming growth factor β (P(ARTP) = 0.0043) being the most significant subpathways for colon cancer. For rectal cancer, interleukins (P(ARTP) = 0.0235) and selenoproteins (P ARTP = 0.0047) were statistically significant although the pathway overall was of borderline significance (P(ARTP) = 0.06). Interleukins (P(ARTP) = 0.0456) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (P(ARTP) = 0.0392) subpathways were uniquely significant for CpG island methylator phenotype-positive colon tumors. Increasing number of at-risk alleles was significantly associated with both colon [odds ratio (OR) = 6.21, 95% confidence interval (CI): 4.72, 8.16] and rectal (OR = 7.82, 95% CI: 5.26, 11.62) cancer. We conclude that elements of the CHIEF pathway are important for CRC risk.

Ferretti E, Tripodo C, Pagnan G, et al.
The interleukin (IL)-31/IL-31R axis contributes to tumor growth in human follicular lymphoma.
Leukemia. 2015; 29(4):958-67 [PubMed] Related Publications
Interleukin (IL)-31A binds to an heterodimer composed of IL-31 receptor A (IL-31RA) and Oncostatin M Receptor (OSMR). The IL-31/IL-31R complex is involved in the pathogenesis of various skin diseases, including cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. No information is available on the relations between the IL-31/IL-31R complex and B-cell lymphoma. Here we have addressed this issue in follicular lymphoma (FL), a prototypic germinal center(GC)-derived B-cell malignancy. IL-31 enhanced primary FL cell proliferation through IL-31R-driven signal transducer and activator of transcription factor 1/3 (STAT1/3), extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) and Akt phosphorylation. In contrast, GC B cells did not signal to IL-31 in spite of IL-31R expression. GC B cells expressed predominantly the inhibitory short IL-31RA isoform, whereas FL cells expressed predominantly the long signaling isoform. Moreover, GC B cells lacked expression of other IL-31RA isoforms potentially involved in the signaling pathway. IL-31 protein expression was significantly higher in surface membrane than in cytosol of both FL and GC B cells. IL-31 was detected in plasma membrane microvesicles from both cell types but not released in soluble form in culture supernatants. IL-31 and IL-31RA expression was higher in lymph nodes from FL patients with grade IIIa compared with grade I/II, suggesting a paracrine and/or autocrine role of IL-31/IL-31RA complex in tumor progression through microvesicle shedding.

Vera-Lozada G, Scholl V, Barros MH, et al.
Analysis of biological and technical variability in gene expression assays from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded classical Hodgkin lymphomas.
Exp Mol Pathol. 2014; 97(3):433-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues are invaluable sources of biological material for research and diagnostic purposes. In this study, we aimed to identify biological and technical variability in RT-qPCR TaqMan® assays performed with FFPE-RNA from lymph nodes of classical Hodgkin lymphoma samples. An ANOVA-nested 6-level design was employed to evaluate BCL2, CASP3, IRF4, LYZ and STAT1 gene expression. The most variable genes were CASP3 (low expression) and LYZ (high expression). Total variability decreased after normalization for all genes, except by LYZ. Genes with moderate and low expression were identified and suffered more the effects of the technical manipulation than high-expression genes. Pre-amplification was shown to introduce significant technical variability, which was partially alleviated by lowering to a half the amount of input RNA. Ct and Cy0 quantification methods, based on cycle-threshold and the kinetic of amplification curves, respectively, were compared. Cy0 method resulted in higher quantification values, leading to the decrease of total variability in CASP3 and LYZ genes. The mean individual noise was 0.45 (0.31 to 0.61 SD), indicating a variation of gene expression over ~1.5 folds from one case to another. We showed that total variability in RT-qPCR from FFPE-RNA is not higher than that reported for fresh complex tissues, and identified gene-, and expression level-sources of biological and technical variability, which can allow better strategies for designing RT-qPCR assays from highly degraded and inhibited samples.

Wang YC, Chen CL, Sheu BS, et al.
Helicobacter pylori infection activates Src homology-2 domain-containing phosphatase 2 to suppress IFN-γ signaling.
J Immunol. 2014; 193(8):4149-58 [PubMed] Related Publications
Helicobacter pylori infection not only induces gastric inflammation but also increases the risk of gastric tumorigenesis. IFN-γ has antimicrobial effects; however, H. pylori infection elevates IFN-γ-mediated gastric inflammation and may suppress IFN-γ signaling as a strategy to avoid immune destruction through an as-yet-unknown mechanism. This study was aimed at investigating the mechanism of H. pylori-induced IFN-γ resistance. Postinfection of viable H. pylori decreased IFN-γ-activated signal transducers and activators of transcription 1 and IFN regulatory factor 1 not only in human gastric epithelial MKN45 and AZ-521 but also in human monocytic U937 cells. H. pylori caused an increase in the C-terminal tyrosine phosphorylation of Src homology-2 domain-containing phosphatase (SHP) 2. Pharmacologically and genetically inhibiting SHP2 reversed H. pylori-induced IFN-γ resistance. In contrast to a clinically isolated H. pylori strain HP238, the cytotoxin-associated gene A (CagA) isogenic mutant strain HP238(CagAm) failed to induce IFN-γ resistance, indicating that CagA regulates this effect. Notably, HP238 and HP238(CagAm) differently caused SHP2 phosphorylation; however, imaging and biochemical analyses demonstrated CagA-mediated membrane-associated binding with phosphorylated SHP2. CagA-independent generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) contributed to H. pylori-induced SHP2 phosphorylation; however, ROS/SHP2 mediated IFN-γ resistance in a CagA-regulated manner. This finding not only provides an alternative mechanism for how CagA and ROS coregulate SHP2 activation but may also explain their roles in H. pylori-induced IFN-γ resistance.

Han SS, Han S, Kamberos NL
Piperlongumine inhibits the proliferation and survival of B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia cell lines irrespective of glucocorticoid resistance.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2014; 452(3):669-75 [PubMed] Related Publications
Piperlongumine (PL), a pepper plant alkaloid from Piper longum, has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. PL selectively kills both solid and hematologic cancer cells, but not normal counterparts. Here we evaluated the effect of PL on the proliferation and survival of B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL), including glucocorticoid (GC)-resistant B-ALL. Regardless of GC-resistance, PL inhibited the proliferation of all B-ALL cell lines, but not normal B cells, in a dose- and time-dependent manner and induced apoptosis via elevation of ROS. Interestingly, PL did not sensitize most of B-ALL cell lines to dexamethasone (DEX). Only UoC-B1 exhibited a weak synergistic effect between PL and DEX. All B-ALL cell lines tested exhibited constitutive activation of multiple transcription factors (TFs), including AP-1, MYC, NF-κB, SP1, STAT1, STAT3, STAT6 and YY1. Treatment of the B-ALL cells with PL significantly downregulated these TFs and modulated their target genes. While activation of AURKB, BIRC5, E2F1, and MYB mRNA levels were significantly downregulated by PL, but SOX4 and XBP levels were increased by PL. Intriguingly, PL also increased the expression of p21 in B-ALL cells through a p53-independent mechanism. Given that these TFs and their target genes play critical roles in a variety of hematological malignancies, our findings provide a strong preclinical rationale for considering PL as a new therapeutic agent for the treatment of B-cell malignancies, including B-ALL and GC-resistant B-ALL.

Zhang Z, Fye S, Borecki IB, Rader JS
Polymorphisms in immune mediators associate with risk of cervical cancer.
Gynecol Oncol. 2014; 135(1):69-73 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The immune system is critical for controlling the progression of HPV cervical disease and the development of cancer. This study aimed to identify cervical cancer susceptibility alleles in candidate immune-modulating genes.
METHODS: Our family-based study involved a cohort of 641 probands (women with ICC/CIN III) and their biologic parents or siblings (641 trios). In the discovery phase (stage 1), involving 288 of the trios, 80 tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 11 immune-modulating genes (IFNG, IFNGR1, IFNGR2, JAK1, JAK2, STAT1, STAT6, IL12A, TNF, LTA and LTB) were evaluated on the GoldenGate platform. We used the combined dataset for a total of 641 trios (stage 2) and the Taqman platform to validate the SNPs that had proved significant in the discovery dataset. The transmission disequilibrium test was used to detect significant shifts in allelic transmissions in the datasets.
RESULTS: Two SNPs in JAK2 and one SNP in STAT6 showed significant allelic association with cervical cancer in the stage 1 discovery dataset and were replicated in the larger joint analysis stage 2 dataset (JAK2 rs10815144, P=0.0029 and rs12349785, P=0.0058; and STAT6 rs3024971, P=0.0127). An additional SNP in exon 19 of JAK2 (rs2230724) was also examined in the combined dataset due to its strong linkage disequilibrium (LD) with rs10815144. It was also significant (P=0.0335).
CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest an association of SNPs in JAK2 and STAT6 with cervical cancer. This association should be investigated in additional cervical cancer populations.

Tian F, Yourek G, Shi X, Yang Y
The development of Wilms tumor: from WT1 and microRNA to animal models.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014; 1846(1):180-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Wilms tumor recapitulates the development of the kidney and represents a unique opportunity to understand the relationship between normal and tumor development. This has been illustrated by the findings that mutations of Wnt/β-catenin pathway-related WT1, β-catenin, and WTX together account for about one-third of Wilms tumor cases. While intense efforts are being made to explore the genetic basis of the other two-thirds of tumor cases, it is worth noting that, epigenetic changes, particularly the loss of imprinting of the DNA region encoding the major fetal growth factor IGF2, which results in its biallelic over-expression, are closely associated with the development of many Wilms tumors. Recent investigations also revealed that mutations of Drosha and Dicer, the RNases required for miRNA generation, and Dis3L2, the 3'-5' exonuclease that normally degrades miRNAs and mRNAs, could cause predisposition to Wilms tumors, demonstrating that miRNA can play a pivotal role in Wilms tumor development. Interestingly, Lin28, a direct target of miRNA let-7 and potent regulator of stem cell self-renewal and differentiation, is significantly elevated in some Wilms tumors, and enforced expression of Lin28 during kidney development could induce Wilms tumor. With the success in establishing mice nephroblastoma models through over-expressing IGF2 and deleting WT1, and advances in understanding the ENU-induced rat model, we are now able to explore the molecular and cellular mechanisms induced by these genetic, epigenetic, and miRNA alterations in animal models to understand the development of Wilms tumor. These animal models may also serve as valuable systems to assess new treatment targets and strategies for Wilms tumor.

Doldo E, Costanza G, Ferlosio A, et al.
CRBP-1 expression in ovarian cancer: a potential therapeutic target.
Anticancer Res. 2014; 34(7):3303-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Cellular retinol binding protein-1 regulates retinol bioavailability and contributes to cell differentiation maintenance, but its role in ovarian carcinogenesis remains uncertain. We investigated CRBP-1 expression in ovarian tumors and CRBP-1 signaling-regulated pathways.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We performed immunohistochemistry, methylation-specific PCR, gene copy number analysis in ovarian tumors and proliferation/apoptosis evaluation, gene array, blot and real-time PCR in CRBP-1-transfected A2780 ovarian cancer cells.
RESULTS: CRBP-1 expression was reduced or absent in G2 and G3 ovarian carcinomas. CRBP-1 silencing in 60% of G2 and 66.7% of G3 carcinomas was due to CRBP-1 promoter methylation. A2780 CRBP-1-transfected cells showed increased retinol-induced apoptosis, retinoid-induced reduced clonogenicity and down-regulation of proliferation and transcription genes, including AKT1, AKT3, EGFR, FOS, JUN, STAT1 and STAT5A.
CONCLUSION: CRBP-1 loss in G2/G3 ovarian carcinomas and increased apoptotic susceptibility to retinoids in CRBP-1-transfected-A2780 cells suggest CRBP-1 screening as a target to ensure efficacy of an adjuvant retinoid therapy.

Ye SB, Li ZL, Luo DH, et al.
Tumor-derived exosomes promote tumor progression and T-cell dysfunction through the regulation of enriched exosomal microRNAs in human nasopharyngeal carcinoma.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(14):5439-52 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
Tumor-derived exosomes contain biologically active proteins and messenger and microRNAs (miRNAs). These particles serve as vehicles of intercellular communication and are emerging mediators of tumorigenesis and immune escape. Here, we isolated 30-100 nm exosomes from the serum of patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) or the supernatant of TW03 cells. Increased circulating exosome concentrations were correlated with advanced lymphoid node stage and poor prognosis in NPC patients (P< 0.05). TW03-derived exosomes impaired T-cell function by inhibiting T-cell proliferation and Th1 and Th17 differentiation and promoting Treg induction by NPC cells in vitro. These results are associated with decreases in ERK, STAT1, and STAT3 phosphorylation and increases in STAT5 phosphorylation in exosome-stimulated T-cells. TW03-derived exosomes increased the proinflammatory cytokines IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-10 but decreased IFNγ, IL-2, and IL-17 release from CD4+ or CD8+ T-cells. Furthermore, five commonly over-expressed miRNAs were identified in the exosomes from patient sera or NPC cells: hsa-miR-24-3p, hsa-miR-891a, hsa-miR-106a-5p, hsa-miR-20a-5p, and hsa-miR-1908. These over-expressed miRNA clusters down-regulated the MARK1 signaling pathway to alter cell proliferation and differentiation. Overall, these observations reveal the clinical relevance and prognostic value of tumor-derived exosomes and identify a unique intercellular mechanism mediated by tumor-derived exosomes to modulate T-cell function in NPC.

Van Overmeire E, Laoui D, Keirsse J, et al.
STAT of the union: dynamics of distinct tumor-associated macrophage subsets governed by STAT1.
Eur J Immunol. 2014; 44(8):2238-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
The tumor stroma has long been ignored as therapeutic target, but it has become clear that several stromal cell types play a nonredundant role during tumor progression. In particular, macrophages possess the capacity to stimulate tumor growth and metastasis via multiple mechanisms. In this issue of the European Journal of Immunology, a study by Tymoszuk et al. Eur. J. Immunol. 2014. 44: 2247-2262 demonstrates that both monocyte recruitment and local macrophage proliferation determines the tumor-associated macrophage (TAM) pool size in HER2/Neu-driven mammary carcinomas. These tumors contain two main TAM subsets--MHC class II (MHC-II)(lo) F4/80(hi) and MHC-II(hi) F4/80(lo)--similar to what was observed in other tumor models. Interestingly, only the MHC-II(lo) F4/80(hi) subset is largely absent in a STAT1-deficient background. STAT1 induces the expression of CSF-1, which in turn drives TAM proliferation and possibly also the M2 gene signature of MHC-II(lo) F4/80(hi) TAM. Conversely, STAT1 deficiency upregulates M2 gene expression in MHC-II(hi) F4/80(lo) TAM, demonstrating that both TAM subsets are differentially regulated, probably as a consequence of their distinct intratumoral localization. In this Commentary, we place these findings in the context of current knowledge and propose new avenues for future research.

Al-Jamal HA, Jusoh SA, Yong AC, et al.
Silencing of suppressor of cytokine signaling-3 due to methylation results in phosphorylation of STAT3 in imatinib resistant BCR-ABL positive chronic myeloid leukemia cells.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014; 15(11):4555-61 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Silencing due to methylation of suppressor of cytokine signaling-3 (SOCS-3), a negative regulator gene for the JAK/STAT signaling pathway has been reported to play important roles in leukemogenesis. Imatinib mesylate is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor that specifically targets the BCR-ABL protein and induces hematological remission in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Unfortunately, the majority of CML patients treated with imatinib develop resistance under prolonged therapy. We here investigated the methylation profile of SOCS-3 gene and its downstream effects in a BCR-ABL positive CML cells resistant to imatinib.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: BCR-ABL positive CML cells resistant to imatinib (K562-R) were developed by overexposure of K562 cell lines to the drug. Cytotoxicity was determined by MTS assays and IC50 values calculated. Apoptosis assays were performed using annexin V-FITC binding assays and analyzed by flow cytometry. Methylation profiles were investigated using methylation specific PCR and sequencing analysis of SOCS-1 and SOCS-3 genes. Gene expression was assessed by quantitative real-time PCR, and protein expression and phosphorylation of STAT1, 2 and 3 were examined by Western blotting.
RESULTS: The IC50 for imatinib on K562 was 362 nM compared to 3,952 nM for K562-R (p=0.001). Percentage of apoptotic cells in K562 increased upto 50% by increasing the concentration of imatinib, in contrast to only 20% in K562-R (p<0.001). A change from non-methylation of the SOCS-3 gene in K562 to complete methylation in K562-R was observed. Gene expression revealed down- regulation of both SOCS-1 and SOCS-3 genes in resistant cells. STAT3 was phosphorylated in K562-R but not K562.
CONCLUSIONS: Development of cells resistant to imatinib is feasible by overexposure of the drug to the cells. Activation of STAT3 protein leads to uncontrolled cell proliferation in imatinib resistant BCR-ABL due to DNA methylation of the SOCS-3 gene. Thus SOCS-3 provides a suitable candidate for mechanisms underlying the development of imatinib resistant in CML patients.

Chen S, Li C, Wu B, et al.
Identification of differentially expressed genes and their subpathways in recurrent versus primary bone giant cell tumors.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 45(3):1133-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
Giant cell tumor (GCT) of the bone is a benign but locally aggressive bone neoplasm with a strong tendency to develop local recurrent and metastatic disease. Thus, it provides a useful model system for the identification of biological mechanisms involved in bone tumor progression and metastasis. This study profiled 24 cases of recurrent versus primary bone GCT tissues using QuantiGene 2.0 Multiplex Arrays that included Human p53 80-Plex Panels and Human Stem Cell 80-Plex Panels. A total of 32 differentially expressed genes were identified, including the 20 most upregulated genes and the 12 most downregulated genes in recurrent GCT. The genes identified are related to cell growth, adhesion, apoptosis, signal transduction and bone formation. Furthermore, iSubpathwayMiner analyses were performed to identify significant biological pathway regions (subpathway) associated with this disease. The pathway analysis identified 11 statistically significant enriched subpathways, including pathways in cancer, p53 signaling pathway, osteoclast differentiation pathway and Wnt signaling pathway. Among these subpathways, four genes (IGF1, MDM2, STAT1 and RAC1) were presumed to play an important role in bone GCT recurrence. The differentially expressed MDM2 protein was immunohistochemically confirmed in the recurrent versus primary bone GCT tissues. This study identified differentially expressed genes and their subpathways in recurrent GCT, which may serve as potential biomarkers for the prediction of GCT recurrence.

Turnquist C, Wang Y, Severson DT, et al.
STAT1-induced ASPP2 transcription identifies a link between neuroinflammation, cell polarity, and tumor suppression.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014; 111(27):9834-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
Inflammation and loss of cell polarity play pivotal roles in neurodegeneration and cancer. A central question in both diseases is how the loss of cell polarity is sensed by cell death machinery. Here, we identify apoptosis-stimulating protein of p53 with signature sequences of ankyrin repeat-, SH3 domain-, and proline-rich region-containing protein 2 (ASPP2), a haploinsufficient tumor suppressor, activator of p53, and regulator of cell polarity, as a transcriptional target of signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1). LPS induces ASPP2 expression in murine macrophage and microglial cell lines, a human monocyte cell line, and primary human astrocytes in vitro. LPS and IFNs induce ASPP2 transcription through an NF-κB RELA/p65-independent but STAT1-dependent pathway. In an LPS-induced maternal inflammation mouse model, LPS induces nuclear ASPP2 in vivo at the blood-cerebral spinal fluid barrier (the brain's barrier to inflammation), and ASPP2 mediates LPS-induced apoptosis. Consistent with the role of ASPP2 as a gatekeeper to inflammation, ASPP2-deficient brains possess enhanced neuroinflammation. Elevated ASPP2 expression is also observed in mouse models and human neuroinflammatory disease tissue, where ASPP2 was detected in GFAP-expressing reactive astrocytes that coexpress STAT1. Because the ability of ASPP2 to maintain cellular polarity is vital to CNS development, our findings suggest that the identified STAT1/ASPP2 pathway may connect tumor suppression and cell polarity to neuroinflammation.

Wang J, Ni Z, Duan Z, et al.
Altered expression of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) and its regulatory genes in gastric cancer tissues.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(6):e99835 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
Tissue hypoxia induces reprogramming of cell metabolism and may result in normal cell transformation and cancer progression. Hypoxia-inducible factor 1-alpha (HIF-1α), the key transcription factor, plays an important role in gastric cancer development and progression. This study aimed to investigate the underlying regulatory signaling pathway in gastric cancer using gastric cancer tissue specimens. The integration of gene expression profile and transcriptional regulatory element database (TRED) was pursued to identify HIF-1α ↔ NFκB1 → BRCA1 → STAT3 ← STAT1 gene pathways and their regulated genes. The data showed that there were 82 differentially expressed genes that could be regulated by these five transcription factors in gastric cancer tissues and these genes formed 95 regulation modes, among which seven genes (MMP1, TIMP1, TLR2, FCGR3A, IRF1, FAS, and TFF3) were hub molecules that are regulated at least by two of these five transcription factors simultaneously and were associated with hypoxia, inflammation, and immune disorder. Real-Time PCR and western blot showed increasing of HIF-1α in mRNA and protein levels as well as TIMP1, TFF3 in mRNA levels in gastric cancer tissues. The data are the first study to demonstrate HIF-1α-regulated transcription factors and their corresponding network genes in gastric cancer. Further study with a larger sample size and more functional experiments is needed to confirm these data and then translate into clinical biomarker discovery and treatment strategy for gastric cancer.

Thota B, Arimappamagan A, Kandavel T, et al.
STAT-1 expression is regulated by IGFBP-3 in malignant glioma cells and is a strong predictor of poor survival in patients with glioblastoma.
J Neurosurg. 2014; 121(2):374-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECT: Insulin-like growth factor binding proteins (IGFBPs) have been implicated in the pathogenesis of glioma. In a previous study the authors demonstrated that IGFBP-3 is a novel glioblastoma biomarker associated with poor survival. Since signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT-1) has been shown to be regulated by IGFBP-3 during chondrogenesis and is a prosurvival and radioresistant molecule in different tumors, the aim in the present study was to explore the functional significance of IGFBP-3 in malignant glioma cells, to determine if STAT-1 is indeed regulated by IGFBP-3, and to study the potential of STAT-1 as a biomarker in glioblastoma.
METHODS: The functional significance of IGFBP-3 was investigated using the short hairpin (sh)RNA gene knockdown approach on U251MG cells. STAT-1 regulation by IGFBP-3 was tested on U251MG and U87MG cells by shRNA gene knockdown and exogenous treatment with recombinant IGFBP-3 protein. Subsequently, the expression of STAT-1 was analyzed with real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunohistochemistry (IHC) in glioblastoma and control brain tissues. Survival analyses were done on a uniformly treated prospective cohort of adults with newly diagnosed glioblastoma (136 patients) using Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression models.
RESULTS: IGFBP-3 knockdown significantly impaired proliferation, motility, migration, and invasive capacity of U251MG cells in vitro (p < 0.005). Exogenous overexpression of IGFBP-3 in U251MG and U87MG cells demonstrated STAT-1 regulation. The mean transcript levels (by real-time RT-PCR) and the mean labeling index of STAT-1 (by IHC) were significantly higher in glioblastoma than in control brain tissues (p = 0.0239 and p < 0.001, respectively). Multivariate survival analysis revealed that STAT-1 protein expression (HR 1.015, p = 0.033, 95% CI 1.001-1.029) along with patient age (HR 1.025, p = 0.005, 95% CI 1.008-1.042) were significant predictors of shorter survival in patients with glioblastoma.
CONCLUSIONS: IGFBP-3 influences tumor cell proliferation, migration, and invasion and regulates STAT-1 expression in malignant glioma cells. STAT-1 is overexpressed in human glioblastoma tissues and emerges as a novel prognostic biomarker.

Arzt L, Kothmaier H, Halbwedl I, et al.
Signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1) acts like an oncogene in malignant pleural mesothelioma.
Virchows Arch. 2014; 465(1):79-88 [PubMed] Related Publications
Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is the most common primary tumor of the pleura. Its incidence is increasing in Europe and the prognosis remains poor. We compared epithelioid MPM in short and long survivors, and identified signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1) as probably being responsible for antiapoptotic signaling and chemoresistance. Six mesothelioma cell lines were evaluated by Western Blot. We also analyzed 16 epithelioid MPM tissue samples for the phosphorylation status of STAT1 and the expression of its negative regulator, the suppressor of cytokine signaling 1 (SOCS1). Formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded tissue specimens were evaluated by protein-lysate microarray and immunohistochemistry. We found STAT1 to be highly expressed and STAT3 downregulated in MPM cell lines. The expression of STAT1 phosphorylated on tyrosine 701 (Y701) was increased by interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) treatment, whereas SOCS1 was not expressed. The expression of STAT1 phosphorylated on serine 727 (S727) was not detected in mesothelioma cell lines and was not stimulated by IFN-γ. STAT1 was phosphorylated on tyrosine 701 and serine 727 in MPM tissue samples. The expression of pSTAT1-Y701 was increased compared to pSTAT1-S727. SOCS1 was again not detectable. STAT1 is upregulated in MPM, and its action may be prolonged by a loss of the negative regulator SOCS1. STAT1 might, therefore, be a target for therapeutic intervention, with the intention to restore apoptotic mechanisms and sensitivity to chemotherapy. However, other regulatory mechanisms need to be investigated to clarify if lack of expression of SOCS1 is the only reason for sustained STAT1 expression in MPM.

Wang H, Gutierrez-Uzquiza A, Garg R, et al.
Transcriptional regulation of oncogenic protein kinase Cϵ (PKCϵ) by STAT1 and Sp1 proteins.
J Biol Chem. 2014; 289(28):19823-38 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 11/07/2015 Related Publications
Overexpression of PKCϵ, a kinase associated with tumor aggressiveness and widely implicated in malignant transformation and metastasis, is a hallmark of multiple cancers, including mammary, prostate, and lung cancer. To characterize the mechanisms that control PKCϵ expression and its up-regulation in cancer, we cloned an ∼ 1.6-kb promoter segment of the human PKCϵ gene (PRKCE) that displays elevated transcriptional activity in cancer cells. A comprehensive deletional analysis established two regions rich in Sp1 and STAT1 sites located between -777 and -105 bp (region A) and -921 and -796 bp (region B), respectively, as responsible for the high transcriptional activity observed in cancer cells. A more detailed mutagenesis analysis followed by EMSA and ChIP identified Sp1 sites in positions -668/-659 and -269/-247 as well as STAT1 sites in positions -880/-869 and -793/-782 as the elements responsible for elevated promoter activity in breast cancer cells relative to normal mammary epithelial cells. RNAi silencing of Sp1 and STAT1 in breast cancer cells reduced PKCϵ mRNA and protein expression, as well as PRKCE promoter activity. Moreover, a strong correlation was found between PKCϵ and phospho-Ser-727 (active) STAT1 levels in breast cancer cells. Our results may have significant implications for the development of approaches to target PKCϵ and its effectors in cancer therapeutics.

Tymoszuk P, Evens H, Marzola V, et al.
In situ proliferation contributes to accumulation of tumor-associated macrophages in spontaneous mammary tumors.
Eur J Immunol. 2014; 44(8):2247-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
Infiltration of a neoplasm with tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) is considered an important negative prognostic factor and is functionally associated with tumor vascularization, accelerated growth, and dissemination. However, the ontogeny and differentiation pathways of TAMs are only incompletely characterized. Here, we report that intense local proliferation of fully differentiated macrophages rather than low-pace recruitment of blood-borne precursors drives TAM accumulation in a mouse model of spontaneous mammary carcinogenesis, the MMTVneu strain. TAM differentiation and expansion is regulated by CSF1, whose expression is directly controlled by STAT1 at the gene promoter level. These findings appear to be also relevant for human breast cancer, in which an interrelationship between STAT1, CSF1, and macrophage marker expression was identified. We propose that, akin to various MU subtypes in nonmalignant tissues, local proliferation and CSF1 play a vital role in the homeostasis of TAMs.

Cheon H, Borden EC, Stark GR
Interferons and their stimulated genes in the tumor microenvironment.
Semin Oncol. 2014; 41(2):156-73 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 11/07/2015 Related Publications
Constitutive expression of interferons (IFNs) and activation of their signaling pathways have pivotal roles in host responses to malignant cells in the tumor microenvironment. IFNs are induced by the innate immune system and in tumors through stimulation of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and through other signaling pathways in response to specific cytokines. Although in the oncologic context IFNs have been thought of more as exogenous pharmaceuticals, the autocrine and paracrine actions of endogenous IFNs probably have even more critical effects on neoplastic disease outcomes. Through high-affinity cell surface receptors, IFNs modulate transcriptional signaling, leading to regulation of more than 2,000 genes with varying patterns of temporal expression. Induction of the gene products by both unphosphorylated and phosphorylated STAT1 after ligand binding results in alterations in tumor cell survival, inhibition of angiogenesis, and augmentation of actions of T, natural killer (NK), and dendritic cells. The interferon-stimulated gene (ISG) signature can be a favorable biomarker of immune response but, in a seemingly paradoxical finding, a specific subset of the full ISG signature indicates an unfavorable response to DNA-damaging interventions such as radiation. IFNs in the tumor microenvironment thus can alter the emergence, progression, and regression of malignancies.

Huang R, Faratian D, Sims AH, et al.
Increased STAT1 signaling in endocrine-resistant breast cancer.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(4):e94226 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 11/07/2015 Related Publications
Proteomic profiling of the estrogen/tamoxifen-sensitive MCF-7 cell line and its partially sensitive (MCF-7/LCC1) and fully resistant (MCF-7/LCC9) variants was performed to identify modifiers of endocrine sensitivity in breast cancer. Analysis of the expression of 120 paired phosphorylated and non-phosphorylated epitopes in key oncogenic and tumor suppressor pathways revealed that STAT1 and several phosphorylated epitopes (phospho-STAT1(Tyr701) and phospho-STAT3(Ser727)) were differentially expressed between endocrine resistant and parental controls, confirmed by qRT-PCR and western blotting. The STAT1 inhibitor EGCG was a more effective inhibitor of the endocrine resistant MCF-7/LCC1 and MCF-7/LCC9 lines than parental MCF-7 cells, while STAT3 inhibitors Stattic and WP1066 were equally effective in endocrine-resistant and parental lines. The effects of the STAT inhibitors were additive, rather than synergistic, when tested in combination with tamoxifen in vitro. Expression of STAT1 and STAT3 were measured by quantitative immunofluorescence in invasive breast cancers and matched lymph nodes. When lymph node expression was compared to its paired primary breast cancer expression, there was greater expression of cytoplasmic STAT1 (∼3.1 fold), phospho-STAT3(Ser727) (∼1.8 fold), and STAT5 (∼1.5 fold) and nuclear phospho-STAT3(Ser727) (∼1.5 fold) in the nodes. Expression levels of STAT1 and STAT3 transcript were analysed in 550 breast cancers from publicly available gene expression datasets (GSE2990, GSE12093, GSE6532). When treatment with tamoxifen was considered, STAT1 gene expression was nearly predictive of distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS, log-rank p = 0.067), while STAT3 gene expression was predictive of DMFS (log-rank p<0.0001). Analysis of STAT1 and STAT3 protein expression in a series of 546 breast cancers also indicated that high expression of STAT3 protein was associated with improved survival (DMFS, p = 0.006). These results suggest that STAT signaling is important in endocrine resistance, and that STAT inhibitors may represent potential therapies in breast cancer, even in the resistant setting.

Pelle DW, Ringler JW, Peacock JD, et al.
Targeting receptor-activator of nuclear kappaB ligand in aneurysmal bone cysts: verification of target and therapeutic response.
Transl Res. 2014; 164(2):139-48 [PubMed] Related Publications
Aneurysmal bone cyst (ABC) is a benign tumor of bone presenting as a cystic, expansile lesion in both the axial and appendicular skeleton. Axial lesions demand special consideration, because treatment-related morbidity can be devastating. In similar lesions, such as giant cell tumor of bone (GCTB), the receptor-activator of nuclear kappaB ligand (RANKL)-receptor-activator of nuclear kappaB (RANK) signaling axis is essential to tumor progression. Although ABC and GCTB are distinct entities, they both contain abundant multinucleated giant cells and are osteolytic characteristically. We hypothesize that ABCs express both RANKL and RANK similarly in a cell-type specific manner, and that targeted RANKL therapy will mitigate ABC tumor progression. Cellular expression of RANKL and RANK was determined in freshly harvested ABC samples using laser confocal microscopy. A consistent cell-type-specific pattern was observed: fibroblastlike stromal cells expressed RANKL strongly whereas monocyte/macrophage precursor and multinucleated giant cells expressed RANK. Relative RANKL expression was determined by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction in ABC and GCTB tissue samples; no difference in relative expression was observed (P > 0.05). In addition, we review the case of a 5-year-old boy with a large, aggressive sacral ABC. After 3 months of targeted RANKL inhibition with denosumab, magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated tumor shrinkage, bone reconstitution, and healing of a pathologic fracture. Ambulation, and bowel and bladder function were restored at 6 months. Denosumab treatment was well tolerated. Post hoc analysis demonstrated strong RANKL expression in the pretreatment tumor sample. These findings demonstrate that RANKL-RANK signal activation is essential to ABC tumor progression. RANKL-targeted therapy may be an effective alternative to surgery in select ABC presentations.

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