Gene Summary

Gene:STAT4; signal transducer and activator of transcription 4
Aliases: SLEB11
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a member of the STAT family of transcription factors. 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 is essential for mediating responses to IL12 in lymphocytes, and regulating the differentiation of T helper cells. Mutations in this gene may be associated with systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. Alternate splicing results in multiple transcript variants that encode the same protein. [provided by RefSeq, Aug 2011]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:signal transducer and activator of transcription 4
Source:NCBIAccessed: 01 September, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 01 September 2019 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.

  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Disease Progression
  • TNF
  • Gene Expression
  • Risk Factors
  • Case-Control Studies
  • STAT4 Transcription Factor
  • Promoter Regions
  • Phosphorylation
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Transcription Factors
  • Chromosome 2
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Alleles
  • Cohort Studies
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic
  • HLA-DQ Antigens
  • Hepatocellular Carcinoma
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Signal Transduction
  • Leukemic Gene Expression Regulation
  • Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling Proteins
  • Transcription
  • Interleukin-12
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genotype
  • Haplotypes
  • Breast Cancer
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Messenger RNA
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • STAT1 Transcription Factor
  • T-Lymphocytes
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Th1 Cells
  • Liver Cancer
  • Skin Cancer
  • Hepatitis B virus
Tag cloud generated 01 September, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (4)

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: STAT4 (cancer-related)

He Y, Jiang Z, Chen C, Wang X
Classification of triple-negative breast cancers based on Immunogenomic profiling.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2018; 37(1):327 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Abundant evidence shows that triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is heterogeneous, and many efforts have been devoted to identifying TNBC subtypes on the basis of genomic profiling. However, few studies have explored the classification of TNBC specifically based on immune signatures that may facilitate the optimal stratification of TNBC patients responsive to immunotherapy.
METHODS: Using four publicly available TNBC genomics datasets, we classified TNBC on the basis of the immunogenomic profiling of 29 immune signatures. Unsupervised and supervised machine learning methods were used to perform the classification.
RESULTS: We identified three TNBC subtypes that we named Immunity High (Immunity_H), Immunity Medium (Immunity_M), and Immunity Low (Immunity_L) and demonstrated that this classification was reliable and predictable by analyzing multiple different datasets. Immunity_H was characterized by greater immune cell infiltration and anti-tumor immune activities, as well as better survival prognosis compared to the other subtypes. Besides the immune signatures, some cancer-associated pathways were hyperactivated in Immunity_H, including apoptosis, calcium signaling, MAPK signaling, PI3K-Akt signaling, and RAS signaling. In contrast, Immunity_L presented depressed immune signatures and increased activation of cell cycle, Hippo signaling, DNA replication, mismatch repair, cell adhesion molecule binding, spliceosome, adherens junction function, pyrimidine metabolism, glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchor biosynthesis, and RNA polymerase pathways. Furthermore, we identified a gene co-expression subnetwork centered around five transcription factor (TF) genes (CORO1A, STAT4, BCL11B, ZNF831, and EOMES) specifically significant in the Immunity_H subtype and a subnetwork centered around two TF genes (IRF8 and SPI1) characteristic of the Immunity_L subtype.
CONCLUSIONS: The identification of TNBC subtypes based on immune signatures has potential clinical implications for TNBC treatment.

Yang J, Trépo E, Nahon P, et al.
PNPLA3 and TM6SF2 variants as risk factors of hepatocellular carcinoma across various etiologies and severity of underlying liver diseases.
Int J Cancer. 2019; 144(3):533-544 [PubMed] Related Publications
Few single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been reproducibly associated with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Our aim was to test the association between nine SNPs and HCC occurrence. SNPs in genes linked to HCC (DEPDC5, GRIK1, KIF1B, STAT4, MICA, DLC1, DDX18) or to liver damage (PNPLA3-rs738409, TM6SF2-rs58542926) in GWAS were genotyped in discovery cohorts including 1,020 HCC, 2,021 controls with chronic liver disease and 2,484 healthy individuals and replication was performed in prospective cohorts of cirrhotic patients with alcoholic liver disease (ALD, n = 249) and hepatitis C (n = 268). In the discovery cohort, PNPLA3 and TM6SF2 SNPs were associated with HCC (OR = 1.67 [CI95%:1.16-2.40], p = 0.005; OR = 1.45 [CI95%:1.08-1.94], p = 0.01) after adjustment for fibrosis, age, gender and etiology. In contrast, STAT4-rs7574865 was associated with HCC only in HBV infected patients (p = 0.03) and the other tested SNP were not linked with HCC risk. PNPLA3 and TM6SF2 variants were independently associated with HCC in patients with ALD (OR = 3.91 [CI95%:2.52-6.06], p = 1.14E-09; OR = 1.79 [CI95%:1.25-2.56], p = 0.001) but not with other etiologies. PNPLA3 SNP was also significantly associated with HCC developed on a nonfibrotic liver (OR = 2.19 [CI95%:1.22-3.92], p = 0.007). The association of PNPLA3 and TM6SF2 with HCC risk was confirmed in the prospective cohort with ALD. A genetic score including PNPLA3 and TM6SF2 minor alleles showed a progressive significant increased risk of HCC in ALD patients. In conclusion, PNPLA3-rs738409 and TM6SF2-rs58542926 are inherited risk variants of HCC development in patients with ALD in a dose dependent manner. The link between PNPLA3 and HCC on nonfibrotic liver suggests a direct role in liver carcinogenesis.

Bayik D, Tross D, Klinman DM
Factors Influencing the Differentiation of Human Monocytic Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells Into Inflammatory Macrophages.
Front Immunol. 2018; 9:608 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Monocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cells (mMDSC) accumulate within tumors where they create an immunosuppressive milieu that inhibits the activity of cytotoxic T and NK cells thereby allowing cancers to evade immune elimination. The toll-like receptors 7/8 agonist R848 induces human mMDSC to mature into inflammatory macrophage (MAC

Wu Z, Liu J, Hu S, et al.
Serine/Threonine Kinase 35, a Target Gene of STAT3, Regulates the Proliferation and Apoptosis of Osteosarcoma Cells.
Cell Physiol Biochem. 2018; 45(2):808-818 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Serine/threonine kinase 35 (STK35) may be associated with Parkinson disease and human colorectal cancer, but there have been no reports on the expression levels or roles of STK35 in osteosarcoma.
METHODS: STK35 mRNA expression was determined in osteosarcoma and bone cyst tissues by real-time PCR. Cell proliferation and apoptosis were assessed by Cell Counting Kit-8 (CCK-8) assay and flow cytometry analysis, respectively.
RESULTS: STK35 was up-regulated in osteosarcoma tissues as indicated by analyzing publicly available expression data (GEO dataset E-MEXP-3628) and real-time PCR analysis on our own cohort. We subsequently investigated the effects of STK35 knockdown on two osteosarcoma cell lines, MG63 and U2OS. STK35 knockdown inhibited the growth of osteosarcoma cells in vitro and in xenograft tumors. Meanwhile, STK35 knockdown enhanced apoptosis. Expression of the active forms and the activity of two major executioner caspases, caspase 3 and caspase 7, were also increased in osteosarcoma cells with STK35 silenced. Additionally, Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA) identified that the JAK/STAT signaling pathway was positively correlated with STK35 expression. The mRNA expression of STK35 was repressed by STAT3 small interfering RNA (siRNA), but not by siRNA of STAT4, STAT5A or STAT6. A luciferase reporter assay further demonstrated that STAT3 transcriptionally regulated STK35 expression. A chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay confirmed the direct recruitment of STAT3 to the STK35 promoter. The promotion effects of STAT3 knockdown on cell apoptosis were partially abolished by STK35 overexpression. Furthermore, STK35 mRNA expression was positively correlated with STAT3 mRNA expression in osteosarcoma tissues by Pearson correlation analysis.
CONCLUSIONS: These results collectively reveal that STAT3 regulates the transcription of STK35 in osteosarcoma. STK35 may exert an oncogenic role in osteosarcoma.

Wang S, Yu L, Shi W, et al.
Prognostic roles of signal transducers and activators of transcription family in human breast cancer.
Biosci Rep. 2018; 38(6) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT) family are critical transcription factors, which have been proved as prognostic predictors for a number of cancers. However, the prognostic roles of STAT family in breast cancer patients remain in dispute. In the present study, we mined the 'Kaplan-Meier plotter' (KM plotter) online database to explore the prognostic roles of STAT family mRNA expression in breast cancer including overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), as well as post-progression survival (PPS). The results suggest high mRNA expression of all the individual STATs, except STAT1 and STAT2, are significantly associated with favorable OS in breast cancer patients; high

Nishi M, Batsaikhan BE, Yoshikawa K, et al.
High STAT4 Expression Indicates Better Disease-free Survival in Patients with Gastric Cancer.
Anticancer Res. 2017; 37(12):6723-6729 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to investigate the significance of signal transducer and activator of transcription 4 (STAT4) expression and the correlation between STAT4 and interferon gamma (IFN-γ) in patients with gastric cancer.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Sixty-two patients who underwent gastrectomy for gastric cancer were enrolled in the study. STAT4 and IFNG mRNA expression was evaluated by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Immunohistochemistry was performed to examine CD8
RESULTS: STAT4 mRNA expression was significantly correlated with IFNG mRNA expression (p<0.05). Regarding disease-free survival, there was a significant difference between the groups with high and low STAT4 expression (5-year disease-free survival: 77.8% and 56.4%, p<0.05). Univariate analysis revealed that tumor differentiation and STAT4 expression were significant factors for tumor recurrence.
CONCLUSION: High expression of STAT4 in gastric cancer predicted a better clinical outcome. STAT4 might be a useful biomarker to identify patients at high risk of recurrence after gastrectomy.

Zhang W, Pan Y, Gou P, et al.
Effect of xanthohumol on Th1/Th2 balance in a breast cancer mouse model.
Oncol Rep. 2018; 39(1):280-288 [PubMed] Related Publications
Xanthohumol (XN), a prenylflavonoid found in the hop plant, Humulus lupulus, exhibits a variety of biological activities. Numerous studies have reported that XN inhibits the growth of many types of cancer cells, but the effects of XN on tumor immunity have not yet been studied. We explored the effect of XN on Th1/Th2 balance and the underlying mechanism based on a BALB/c-4T1 breast cancer mouse model. The results showed that XN significantly slowed down tumor growth and inhibited expression of antitumor proliferation protein Ki-67 as well as breast cancer-specific marker cancer antigen 15-3 (CA15-3). Flow cytometric analysis revealed that XN enhanced the secretion of perforin, granzyme B and increased the ratio of CD8+/CD25+. ELISA analysis of cytokine results demonstrated that XN obviously upregulated Th1 cytokines, while downregulated Th2 cytokines. Th1/Th2 ratio analysis by flow cytometry illustrated that XN regulated the balance drift to Th1 polarization. Western blotting and immunohistochemistry (IHC) results manifested that XN induced expression of T-bet, a Th1-specific transcription factor. Furthermore, we found that XN significantly promoted the phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)4. Our results demonstrated that XN promoted Th1/Th2 balance towards Th1 polarization, and STAT4 may play a positive role in the regulation of Th1/Th2 cytokines by XN.

Huang C, Li Z, Li N, et al.
Interleukin 35 Expression Correlates With Microvessel Density in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma, Recruits Monocytes, and Promotes Growth and Angiogenesis of Xenograft Tumors in Mice.
Gastroenterology. 2018; 154(3):675-688 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Cells of the monocyte lineage contribute to tumor angiogenesis. Interleukin 35 (IL35) is a member of the IL12 family produced by regulatory, but not effector, T cells. IL35 is a dimer comprising the IL12 alpha and IL27 beta chains, encoded by IL12A and EBI3, respectively. Expression of IL35 is increased in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas (PDACs) compared with normal pancreatic tissues, and promotes metastasis. We investigated the role of IL35 in monocyte-induced angiogenesis of PDAC in mice.
METHODS: We measured levels of IL35 protein, microvessel density, and numbers of monocytes in 123 sequential PDAC tissues from patients who underwent surgery in China in 2010. We performed studies with the human PDAC cell lines CFPAC-1, BxPC-3, Panc-1, MIA-PaCa-2, and mouse PDAC cell line Pan02. Monocyte subsets were isolated by flow cytometry from human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Fused human or mouse IL12A and EBI3 genes were overexpressed in PDAC cells or knocked down using small hairpin RNAs. Cells were grown as xenograft tumors in SCID mice; some mice were given injections of an IL35-neutralizing antibody and tumor growth was monitored. We performed chemotaxis assays to measure the ability of IL35 to recruit monocytes. We analyzed mRNA sequences of 179 PDACs in the Cancer Genome Atlas to identify correlations between expression of IL12A and EBI3 and monocyte markers. Monocytes incubated with IL35 or PDAC cell supernatants were analyzed in tube formation and endothelial migration assays.
RESULTS: In PDAC samples from patients, levels of IL35 mRNA and protein correlated with microvessel density and infiltration of monocyte lineage cells. In cells and mice with xenograft tumors, IL35 increased recruitment of monocytes into PDAC tumors, which required CCL5. Upon exposure to IL35, monocytes increased expression of genes whose products promote angiogenesis (CXCL1 and CXCL8). IL35 activated transcription of CCL5, CXCL1, and CXCL8 by inducing GP130 signaling, via IL12RB2 and phosphorylation of STAT1 and STAT4. A combination of a neutralizing antibody against IL35 and gemcitabine significantly decreased monocyte infiltration, microvessel density, and volume of xenograft tumors grown from PDAC cells in mice.
CONCLUSIONS: PDAC cells produce IL35 to recruit monocytes via CCL5 and induce macrophage to promote angiogenesis via expression of CXCL1 and CXCL8. IL35 signaling promotes angiogenesis and growth of xenograft tumors from PDAC cells in mice. IL35 might serve as a therapeutic target for patients with pancreatic cancer.

Shi Z, Zhang Q, Chen H, et al.
STAT4 Polymorphisms are Associated with Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorders.
Neuromolecular Med. 2017; 19(4):493-500 [PubMed] Related Publications
STAT4 plays a crucial role in the functioning of the innate and adaptive immune cells and has been identified as a susceptibility gene in numerous autoimmune disorders. However, its association with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSD) remains uncertain. Here, we performed a case-control study to determine whether STAT4 contributed to the risk of NMOSD. We tested five STAT4 SNPs in 233 patients with established NMOSD and 492 healthy controls. Chi-square tests and logistic regression analyses were performed with four genetic models, including allelic, additive, dominant, and recessive models, to identify associations with NMOSD. The results of multiple test comparisons were corrected using the Benjamini and Hochberg false discovery rate (FDR-BH). After correcting for multiple test comparisons, the minor alleles of four STAT4 SNPs exhibited significant association with increased risk of NMOSD (rs7574865 T, odds ratio [OR] = 1.66, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.32-2.08, P

Li S, Sheng B, Zhao M, et al.
The prognostic values of signal transducers activators of transcription family in ovarian cancer.
Biosci Rep. 2017; 37(4) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT), a family of latent cytoplasmic transcription factors, are composed of seven identified members (STAT1, STAT2, STAT3, STAT4, STAT5a, STAT5b, STAT6). STATs are associated with several biological processes such as cell proliferation, invasion, and metastasis in various cancer types. In addition, the STAT family has been well studied as a prognostic predictor for a considerable number of solid tumors. However, the prognostic value of the STAT family in ovarian cancer patients remains unclear. In our present study, we intend to access the prognostic roles of the STAT family in ovarian carcinoma through the 'Kaplan-Meier plotter' (KM plotter) online database, which collected gene expression data and survival information (overall survival (OS)) from a total of 1582 ovarian cancer patients. Our results show that high mRNA expression of

Mishra NK, Guda C
Genome-wide DNA methylation analysis reveals molecular subtypes of pancreatic cancer.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(17):28990-29012 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Pancreatic cancer (PC) is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States with a five-year patient survival rate of only 6%. Early detection and treatment of this disease is hampered due to lack of reliable diagnostic and prognostic markers. Recent studies have shown that dynamic changes in the global DNA methylation and gene expression patterns play key roles in the PC development; hence, provide valuable insights for better understanding the initiation and progression of PC. In the current study, we used DNA methylation, gene expression, copy number, mutational and clinical data from pancreatic patients. We independently investigated the DNA methylation and differential gene expression profiles between normal and tumor samples and correlated methylation levels with gene expression patterns. We observed a total of ~23-thousand differentially methylated CpG sites (Δβ≥0.1) between normal and tumor samples, where majority of the CpG sites are hypermethylated in PC, and this phenomenon is more prominent in the 5'UTRs and promoter regions compared to the gene bodies. Differential methylation is observed in genes associated with the homeobox domain, cell division and differentiation, cytoskeleton, epigenetic regulation and development, pancreatic development and pancreatic signaling and pancreatic cancer core signaling pathways. Correlation analysis suggests that methylation in the promoter region and 5'UTR has mostly negative correlations with gene expression while gene body and 3'UTR associated methylation has positive correlations. Regulatory element analysis suggests that HOX cluster and histone core proteins are upstream regulators of hypomethylation, while SMAD4, STAT4, STAT5B and zinc finger proteins (ZNF) are upstream regulators of hypermethylation. Non-negative matrix factorization (NMF) clustering of differentially methylated sites generated three clusters in PCs suggesting the existence of distinct molecular subtypes. Cluster 1 and cluster 2 showed samples enriched with clinical phenotypes like neoplasm histological grade and pathologic T-stage T3, respectively, while cluster 3 showed the enrichment of samples with neoplasm histological grade G1. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first genome-scale methylome analysis of PC data from TCGA. Our clustering analysis provides a strong basis for future work on the molecular subtyping of epigenetic regulation in pancreatic cancer.

Rasheed MA, Tariq F, Afzal S, Mannanv S
In silico analysis of fragile histidine triad involved in regression of carcinoma.
J Pak Med Assoc. 2017; 67(4):616-621 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCCa) is a primary malignancy of the liver. Many different proteins are involved in HCCa including insulin growth factor (IGF) II , signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT) 3, STAT4, mothers against decapentaplegic homolog 4 (SMAD 4), fragile histidine triad (FHIT) and selective internal radiation therapy (SIRT) etc. The present study is based on the bioinformatics analysis of FHIT protein in order to understand the proteomics aspect and improvement of the diagnosis of the disease based on the protein. Different information related to protein were gathered from different databases, including National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) Gene, Protein and Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) databases, Uniprot database, String database and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) database. Moreover, the structure of the protein and evaluation of the quality of the structure were included from Easy modeler programme. Hence, this analysis not only helped to gather information related to the protein at one place, but also analysed the structure and quality of the protein to conclude that the protein has a role in carcinoma.

Hou Q, Liao F, Zhang S, et al.
Regulatory network of GATA3 in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(22):36040-36053 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
GATA3 polymorphisms were reported to be significantly associated with susceptibility of pediatric B-lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), by impacting on GATA3 expression. We noticed that ALL-related GATA3 polymorphism located around in the tissue-specific enhancer, and significantly associated with GATA3 expression. Although the regulatory network of GATA3 has been well reported in T cells, the functional status of GATA3 is poorly understood in B-ALL. We thus conducted genome-wide gene expression association analyses to reveal expression associated genes and pathways in nine independent B-ALL patient cohorts. In B-ALL patients, 173 candidates were identified to be significantly associated with GATA3 expression, including some reported GATA3-related genes (e.g., ITM2A) and well-known tumor-related genes (e.g., STAT4). Some of the candidates exhibit tissue-specific and subtype-specific association with GATA3. Through overexpression and down-regulation of GATA3 in leukemia cell lines, several reported and novel GATA3 regulated genes were validated. Moreover, association of GATA3 expression and its targets can be impacted by SNPs (e.g., rs4894953), which locate in the potential GATA3 binding motif. Our findings suggest that GATA3 may be involved in multiple tumor-related pathways (e.g., STAT/JAK pathway) in B-ALL to impact leukemogenesis through epigenetic regulation.

Garimella R, Tadikonda P, Tawfik O, et al.
Vitamin D Impacts the Expression of Runx2 Target Genes and Modulates Inflammation, Oxidative Stress and Membrane Vesicle Biogenesis Gene Networks in 143B Osteosarcoma Cells.
Int J Mol Sci. 2017; 18(3) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Osteosarcoma (OS) is an aggressive malignancy of bone affecting children, adolescents and young adults. Understanding vitamin D metabolism and vitamin D regulated genes in OS is an important aspect of vitamin D/cancer paradigm, and in evaluating vitamin D as adjuvant therapy for human OS. Vitamin D treatment of 143B OS cells induced significant and novel changes in the expression of genes that regulate: (a) inflammation and immunity; (b) formation of reactive oxygen species, metabolism of cyclic nucleotides, sterols, vitamins and mineral (calcium), quantity of gap junctions and skeletogenesis; (c) bone mineral density; and (d) cell viability of skeletal cells, aggregation of bone cancer cells and exocytosis of secretory vesicles. Ingenuity pathway analysis revealed significant reduction in Runx2 target genes such as fibroblast growth factor -1, -12 (

Lei L, Xia S, Liu D, et al.
Genome-wide characterization of lncRNAs in acute myeloid leukemia.
Brief Bioinform. 2018; 19(4):627-635 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are a large family of noncoding RNAs that play a critical role in various normal bioprocesses as well as tumorigenesis. However, the expression patterns and biological functions of lncRNAs in acute leukemia have not been well studied. Here, we performed transcriptome-wide lncRNA expression profiling of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patient samples, along with non-leukemia control hematopoietic samples. We found that lncRNAs were differentially expressed in AML samples relative to control samples. Notably, we identified that lncRNAs upregulated in AML (relative to the control samples) are associated with a lower degree of DNA methylation and a higher ratio of being bound by transcription factors such as SP1, STAT4, ATF-2 and ELK-1 compared with those downregulated in AML. Moreover, an enrichment of H3K4me3 and a depletion of H3K27me3 were observed in upregulated lncRNAs in AML. Expression patterns of three types of lncRNAs (antisense, enhancer and intergenic lncRNAs) have previously been characterized. Of the identified lncRNAs, we found that high expression level lncRNA LOC285758 is associated with the poor prognosis in AML patients. Furthermore, we found that LOC285758 regulates proliferation of AML cell lines by enhancing the expression of HDAC2, a key factor in carcinogenesis. Collectively, our study depicts a landscape of important lncRNAs in AML and provides novel potential therapeutic targets and prognostic markers for AML treatment.

Zhao L, Ji G, Le X, et al.
An integrated analysis identifies STAT4 as a key regulator of ovarian cancer metastasis.
Oncogene. 2017; 36(24):3384-3396 [PubMed] Related Publications
Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is one of the most common gynecological cancers, with diagnosis often at a late stage. Metastasis is a major cause of death in patients with EOC, but the underlying molecular mechanisms remain obscure. Here, we utilized an integrated approach to find potential key transcription factors involved in ovarian cancer metastasis and identified STAT4 as a critical player in ovarian cancer metastasis. We found that activated STAT4 was overexpressed in epithelial cells of ovarian cancer and STAT4 overexpression was associated with poor outcome of ovarian cancer patients, which promoted metastasis of ovarian cancer in both in vivo and in vitro. Although STAT4 mediated EOC metastasis via inducing epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of ovarian cancer cells in vivo, STAT4 failed to induce EMT directly in vitro, suggesting that STAT4 might mediate EMT process via cancer-stroma interactions. Further functional analysis revealed that STAT4 overexpression induced normal omental fibroblasts and adipose- and bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells to obtain cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAF)-like features via induction of tumor-derived Wnt7a. Reciprocally, increased production of CAF-induced CXCL12, IL6 and VEGFA within tumor microenvironment could enable peritoneal metastasis of ovarian cancer via induction of EMT program. In summary, our study established a model that STAT4 promotes ovarian cancer metastasis via tumor-derived Wnt7a-induced activation of CAFs.

Wun CM, Piao Z, Hong KT, et al.
Effect of donor STAT4 polymorphism rs7574865 on clinical outcomes of pediatric acute leukemia patients after hematopoietic stem cell transplant.
Int Immunopharmacol. 2017; 43:62-69 [PubMed] Related Publications
STAT4 polymorphism, rs7574865 is linked to various autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. Its T minor allele is associated with higher STAT4 mRNA and protein expression, indicating a stronger skewed immune response than the norm. Although widely studied in autoimmune disease patients and the general population, its effect on immunocompromised subjects is still unknown. Especially in situations, i.e. post-hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (post-HSCT), where control of the immune response is crucial. Hence, this study investigates if the presence of the T minor allele in donors would affect immunological response and clinical outcomes post-HSCT. Samples from 161 pediatric patients who underwent allogeneic HSCT for acute leukemia and showed complete chimerism by donor cells were obtained. Six clinical outcomes were investigated; hepatic veno-occlusive disease, acute graft-vs-host disease, chronic graft-vs-host disease, cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection, relapse and overall survival. The TT genotype was found to be significant in the occurrence of CMV infection (P=0.049), showing higher incidence of CMV infection compared to the others. Multivariate analysis confirmed that association of the TT genotype is independent from other variables in CMV infection occurrence (P=0.010). This is the first study on STAT4 polymorphism rs7574865 in allogeneic HSCT as well as immunocompromised patients. As the TT genotype is associated with autoimmune diseases, our results seem at a paradox with current evidence hinting at a different role of STAT4 in normal circumstances versus immunocompromised patients. Further investigation is needed to elicit the reason behind this and discover novel applications for better post-transplant outcomes.

Zhu H, Wu J, Shen X
Genome-wide association study: new genetic insights into HBV/HCV-related hepatocellular carcinoma genomes.
Scand J Gastroenterol. 2017; 52(2):209-215 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the third common cause of cancer-related death with highest prevalence in developing countries, such as Southeast China and Saharan African. The major pathogenic factors can be categorized into environmental effects and genetic variations, and it is mostly caused by hepatitis B or C virus (HBV and HCV). The geographic prevalence of chronic hepatitis B and C (CHB and CHC) varies, with HBV heavily-infected in developing countries and HCV prevalent in developed countries. The infection of either hepatitis virus B or C causes damage to the liver cells through cellular immune attack by the mechanism of inflammation. However, how liver cell injury progresses to HCC development is still poorly understood. Along with the maturation of genome-wide association study (GWAS) technology, the specific genetic mutations responsible for the progression from CHB or CHC to HCC have been identified. Moreover, the findings of similar studies for these variants are different from each other due to diverse populations. More functional experiments are warranted to confirm the precise roles of these genetic mutations in the correlations between HBV/HCV and HCC for the future clinical application.

Cattaneo F, Patrussi L, Capitani N, et al.
Expression of the p66Shc protein adaptor is regulated by the activator of transcription STAT4 in normal and chronic lymphocytic leukemia B cells.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(35):57086-57098 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
p66Shc attenuates mitogenic, prosurvival and chemotactic signaling and promotes apoptosis in lymphocytes. Consistently, p66Shc deficiency contributes to the survival and trafficking abnormalities of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) B cells. The mechanism of p66shc silencing in CLL B cells is methylation-independent, at variance with other cancer cell types. Here we identify STAT4 as a novel transcriptional regulator of p66Shc in B cells. Chromatin immunoprecipitation and reporter gene assays showed that STAT4 binds to and activates the p66shc promoter. Silencing or overexpression of STAT4 resulted in a co-modulation of p66Shc. IL-12-dependent STAT4 activation caused a coordinate increase in STAT4 and p66Shc expression, which correlated with enhanced B cell apoptosis. Treatment with the STAT4 inhibitor lisofylline reverted partly this effect, suggesting that STAT4 phosphorylation is not essential for but enhances p66shc transcription. Additionally, we demonstrate that CLL B lymphocytes have a STAT4 expression defect which partly accounts for their p66Shc deficiency, as supported by reconstitution experiments. Finally, we show that p66Shc participates in a positive feedback loop to promote STAT4 expression. These results provide new insights into the mechanism of p66Shc expression in B cells and its defect in CLL, identifying the STAT4/IL-12 pathway as a potential therapeutic target in this neoplasia.

Pankratova EV, Stepchenko AG, Krylova ID, et al.
Involvement of transcription factor Oct-1 in the regulation of JAK-STAT signaling pathway in cells of Burkitt lymphoma.
Dokl Biochem Biophys. 2016; 468(1):229-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
We studied the role of transcription factor Oct-1 in the regulation of expression of genes of the JAK-STAT signaling pathway in the Namalwa Burkitt's lymphoma cell line. Overexpression of Oct-1 isoforms (Oct-1A, Oct-1L, and Oct-1X) causes a decrease in the activity of four genes involved in the JAK-STAT signaling pathway-IFNAR2, STAT1, STAT2, and STAT4. As a result of our research, it was found that genes STAT2 and STAT4 are direct targets for Oct-1 protein.

Boonk SE, Zoutman WH, Marie-Cardine A, et al.
Evaluation of Immunophenotypic and Molecular Biomarkers for Sézary Syndrome Using Standard Operating Procedures: A Multicenter Study of 59 Patients.
J Invest Dermatol. 2016; 136(7):1364-1372 [PubMed] Related Publications
Differentiation between Sézary syndrome and erythrodermic inflammatory dermatoses can be challenging, and a number of studies have attempted to identify characteristic immunophenotypic changes and molecular biomarkers in Sézary cells that could be useful as additional diagnostic criteria. In this European multicenter study, the sensitivity and specificity of these immunophenotypic and recently proposed but unconfirmed molecular biomarkers in Sézary syndrome were investigated. Peripheral blood CD4(+) T cells from 59 patients with Sézary syndrome and 19 patients with erythrodermic inflammatory dermatoses were analyzed for cell surface proteins by flow cytometry and for copy number alterations and differential gene expression using custom-made quantitative PCR plates. Experiments were performed in duplicate in two independent centers using standard operating procedures with almost identical results. Sézary cells showed MYC gain (40%) and MNT loss (66%); up-regulation of DNM3 (75%), TWIST1 (69%), EPHA4 (66%), and PLS3 (66%); and down-regulation of STAT4 (91%). Loss of CD26 (≥80% CD4(+) T cells) and/or CD7 (≥40% CD4(+) T cells) and combination of altered expression of STAT4, TWIST1, and DNM3 or PLS3 could distinguish, respectively, 83% and 98% of patients with Sézary syndrome from patients with erythrodermic inflammatory dermatoses with 100% specificity. These additional diagnostic panels will be useful adjuncts in the differential diagnosis of Sézary syndrome versus erythrodermic inflammatory dermatoses.

Kelkar MG, Senthilkumar K, Jadhav S, et al.
Enhancement of human sodium iodide symporter gene therapy for breast cancer by HDAC inhibitor mediated transcriptional modulation.
Sci Rep. 2016; 6:19341 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The aberrant expression of human sodium iodide symporter (NIS) in breast cancer (BC) has raised the possibility of using targeted radioiodide therapy. Here we investigate modulation of endogenous, functional NIS expression by histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) in vitro and in vivo. Luciferase reporter based initial screening of six different HDACi shows 2-10 fold enhancement of NIS promoter activity in majority of the cell types tested. As a result of drug treatment, endogenous NIS transcript and protein shows profound induction in BC cells. To get an insight on the mechanism of such transcriptional activation, role of Stat4, CREB and other transcription factors are revealed by transcription factor profiling array. Further, NIS-mediated intracellular iodide uptake also enhances substantially (p < 0.05) signifying functional relevance of the transcriptional modulation strategy. Gamma camera imaging confirms 30% higher uptake in VPA or NaB treated BC tumor xenograft. Corroborating with such functional impact of NIS, significant reduction in cell survival (p < 0.005) is observed in VPA, NaB or CI994 drug and (131)I combination treatment in vivo indicating effective radioablation. Thus, for the first time this study reveals the mechanistic basis and demonstrates functional relevance of HDACi pre-treatment strategy in elevating NIS gene therapy approach for BC management in clinic.

Prigione I, Covone AE, Giacopelli F, et al.
IL12RB2 Polymorphisms correlate with risk of lung adenocarcinoma.
Immunobiology. 2016; 221(2):291-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
In a previous study, lack of IL-12 signaling in il12rb2 knock-out mice was found to predispose to lung adenocarcinoma (LAC). We asked whether specific polymorphisms of the human IL12RB2 gene may confer susceptibility to LAC. We studied IL12RB2 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) spanning from the promoter to the first untranslated exon of the gene. Genotypes of 49 individuals with LAC were compared with those of 93 healthy subjects. Two allele variants were found to be associated with increased susceptibility to LAC. One haplotype (hap), hap18, was more frequent in patients (18%) versus controls (6%) and significantly associated with increased probability of disease occurrence. Furthermore, IL-12 driven STAT4 phosphorylation in T cell blasts from healthy individuals was found to correlate with both single allele variants and haplotypes. In conclusion, genetically determined low signaling activity of IL-12R predisposes to the development of LAC.

Matsuura K, Isogawa M, Tanaka Y
Host genetic variants influencing the clinical course of hepatitis B virus infection.
J Med Virol. 2016; 88(3):371-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
The clinical course of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection greatly differs in individuals. Various viral, host, and environmental factors influence the natural history of HBV infection. Recent genome-wide association studies identified several host genetic factors influencing the clinical course of HBV infection. Genetic variations in HLA class II loci were significantly associated with susceptibility to persistent HBV infection. Other polymorphisms in or near the genes EHMT2, TCF19, and HLA-C, located near HLA class II loci, and UBE2L3 were also associated with persistent HBV infection. Meanwhile, polymorphisms in KIF1B, GRIK1, and STAT4 were associated with HBV-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Interestingly, HLA class II genetic variations were strongly associated with not only persistent HBV infection, but also disease progression and HBV-related HCC in chronic hepatitis B. Understanding the various genetic factors associated with the clinical course of HBV infection is essential for personalized treatment and surveillance of disease progression and HCC.

Shiri S, Alizadeh AM, Baradaran B, et al.
Dendrosomal curcumin suppresses metastatic breast cancer in mice by changing m1/m2 macrophage balance in the tumor microenvironment.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2015; 16(9):3917-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
Curcumin, a lipid-soluble compound extracted from the plant Curcuma Longa, has been found to exert immunomodulatory effects via macrophages. However, most studies focus on the low bioavailability issue of curcumin by nano and microparticles, and thus the role of macrophages in the anticancer mechanism of curcumin has received little attention so far. We have previously shown the potential biocompatibility, biodegradability and anti-cancer effects of dendrosomal curcumin (DNC). In this study, twenty-seven BALB/c mice were equally divided into control as well as 40 and 80 mg/kg groups of DNC to investigate the involvement of macrophages in the antitumor effects of curcumin in a typical animal model of metastatic breast cancer. At the end of intervention, the tumor volume and weight were significantly reduced in DNC groups compared to control (P<0.05). Histopathological data showed the presence of macrophages in tumor and spleen tissues. Real-time PCR results showed that DNC increased the expression of STAT4 and IL-12 genes in tumor and spleen tissues in comparison with control (P<0.05), referring to the high levels of M1 macrophages. Furthermore treatment with DNC decreased STAT3, IL-10 and arginase I gene expression (P<0.05), indicating low levels of M2 macrophage. The results confirm the role of macrophages in the protective effects of dendrosomal curcumin against metastatic breast cancer in mice.

Cotterchio M, Lowcock E, Bider-Canfield Z, et al.
Association between Variants in Atopy-Related Immunologic Candidate Genes and Pancreatic Cancer Risk.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(5):e0125273 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Many epidemiology studies report that atopic conditions such as allergies are associated with reduced pancreas cancer risk. The reason for this relationship is not yet understood. This is the first study to comprehensively evaluate the association between variants in atopy-related candidate genes and pancreatic cancer risk.
METHODS: A population-based case-control study of pancreas cancer cases diagnosed during 2011-2012 (via Ontario Cancer Registry), and controls recruited using random digit dialing utilized DNA from 179 cases and 566 controls. Following an exhaustive literature review, SNPs in 180 candidate genes were pre-screened using dbGaP pancreas cancer GWAS data; 147 SNPs in 56 allergy-related immunologic genes were retained and genotyped. Logistic regression was used to estimate age-adjusted odd ratio (AOR) for each variant and false discovery rate was used to adjust Wald p-values for multiple testing. Subsequently, a risk allele score was derived based on statistically significant variants.
RESULTS: 18 SNPs in 14 candidate genes (CSF2, DENND1B, DPP10, FLG, IL13, IL13RA2, LRP1B, NOD1, NPSR1, ORMDL3, RORA, STAT4, TLR6, TRA) were significantly associated with pancreas cancer risk. After adjustment for multiple comparisons, two LRP1B SNPs remained statistically significant; for example, LRP1B rs1449477 (AA vs. CC: AOR=0.37, 95% CI: 0.22-0.62; p (adjusted)=0.04). Furthermore, the risk allele score was associated with a significant reduction in pancreas cancer risk (p=0.0007).
CONCLUSIONS: Preliminary findings suggest certain atopy-related variants may be associated with pancreas cancer risk. Further studies are needed to replicate this, and to elucidate the biology behind the growing body of epidemiologic evidence suggesting allergies may reduce pancreatic cancer risk.

Kim LH, Cheong HS, Namgoong S, et al.
Replication of genome wide association studies on hepatocellular carcinoma susceptibility loci of STAT4 and HLA-DQ in a Korean population.
Infect Genet Evol. 2015; 33:72-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
A recent genome-wide association study (GWAS) for hepatitis B virus (HBV)-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) identified two loci (rs7574865 in STAT4 and rs9275319 in HLA-DQ) in a Chinese population. We attempted to replicate the associations between the two SNP loci and the risk of HCC in a Korean population. The rs7574865 in STAT4 and rs9275319 in HLA-DQ were genotyped in a total of 3838 Korean subjects composed of 287 HBV-related hepatocellular carcinoma patients, 671 chronic hepatitis B virus (CHB) patients, and 2880 population controls using TaqMan genotyping assay. Gene expression was measured by microarray. A logistic regression analysis revealed that rs7574865 in STAT4 and rs9275319 in HLA-DQ were associated with the risk of CHB (OR = 1.25, P = 0.0002 and OR = 1.57, P= 1.44 × 10(-10), respectively). However, these loci were no association with the risk of HBV-related HCC among CHB patients. In the gene expression analyses, although no significant differences in mRNA expression of nearby genes according to genotypes were detected, a significantly decreased mRNA expression in HCC subjects was observed in STAT4, HLA-DQA1, and HLA-DQB1. Although the genetic effects of two HCC susceptibility loci were not replicated, the two loci were found to exert susceptibility effects on the risk of CHB in a Korean population. In addition, the decreased mRNA expression of STAT4, HLA-DQA1, and HLA-DQB1 in HCC tissue might provide a clue to understanding their role in the progression to HCC.

Cheng JM, Yao MR, Zhu Q, et al.
Silencing of stat4 gene inhibits cell proliferation and invasion of colorectal cancer cells.
J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 2015 Jan-Mar; 29(1):85-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
Signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT) play critical roles in development, proliferation, and immune defense. However the consequences of STAT hyperactivity can predispose to diseases, including colorectal cancer. In the present study, we aimed to evaluate the function of STAT4 in human colorectal cancer (CRC). The expression of STAT4 was examined by immunohistochemical assay using a tissue microarray procedure. A loss-of-function experiment was carried out to investigate the effects of lentivirus-mediated STAT4 shRNA (Lv-shSTAT4) on cell proliferation and invasive potential indicated by MTT and Transwell assays in CRC cell lines (SW480 and Caco2). As a consequence, it was found that the expression of STAT4 protein was significantly increased in CRC tissues compared with that in adjacent non-cancerous tissues (ANCT) (71.1% vs 44.4%, P=0.015), and was related with the Duke’s staging and depth of invasion in CRC patients (P=0.022; P=0.001). Silencing of STAT4 gene suppressed cell proliferation and invasion of CRC cells. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that increased expression of STAT4 is positively correlated with the depth of invasion in CRC patients, and inhibition of STAT4 expression represses the growth and invasion of CRC cells, suggesting that STAT4 may be a promising therapeutic target for the treatment of CRC.

Wang G, Chen JH, Qiang Y, et al.
Decreased STAT4 indicates poor prognosis and enhanced cell proliferation in hepatocellular carcinoma.
World J Gastroenterol. 2015; 21(13):3983-93 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
AIM: To investigate the role of signal transduction and activation of transcription 4 (STAT4) in the development and progression of human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
METHODS: Recent genetic investigations have identified that a genetic variant of STAT4 is associated with hepatitis B virus (HBV)-related HCC. The level of STAT4 in 90 HCC patients was examined via Western blot and immunohistochemical analyses. The correlation between STAT4 expression and the clinicopathological characteristics of the patients was analyzed. The level of STAT4 expression in the HCC liver tissues was significantly lower than that in the non-HCC liver tissues and correlated with tumor size, histological grade of HCC and serum hepatitis B surface antigen level in HCC patients. The data were statistically analyzed using SPSS. Furthermore, siRNA oligos targeting STAT4 were employed to investigate the influence of STAT4 RNA interference on HCC cell physiology. Based on Cell Counting Kit-8 and flow cytometric assays, we found that depletion of STAT4 expression significantly enhanced the proliferation of L02 cells.
RESULTS: STAT4 protein expression was significantly lower in HCC tissues than in normal liver tissues. Immunohistochemistry followed by statistical analysis revealed that the expression of STAT4 negatively correlated with Ki67 expression (r = 0.851; P < 0.05) and positively correlated with maximal tumor size (P < 0.05), HBV (P = 0.012) and histological grade (P < 0.05). Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed significant differences in the survival curves between HCC patients expressing low and high levels of STAT4 and Ki67 (P < 0.05). Based on a multivariate Cox proportional hazard model, STAT4 expression was an independent prognostic indicator for HCC patients who underwent curative resection. In vitro, following the release of L02 cell lines from serum starvation, the expression of STAT4 was downregulated, and transfection of L02 cells with siRNA targeting STAT4 inhibited cell proliferation.
CONCLUSION: Our data indicate that STAT4 may inhibit HCC development by modulating HCC cell proliferation.

Lu Y, Zhu Y, Peng J, et al.
STAT4 genetic polymorphisms association with spontaneous clearance of hepatitis B virus infection.
Immunol Res. 2015; 62(2):146-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
STAT4 signal pathway plays an important role in IFN-γ-mediated antiviral activity. Recent studies show an association of STAT4 polymorphisms with hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. We therefore investigated the influence of STAT4 polymorphisms on the susceptibility of spontaneous clearance of HBV in a Chinese Han population. Genomic DNA from 288 cases with chronic HBV infection and 288 controls who spontaneously recovered from HBV infection was analyzed for five SNPs in the STAT4 gene (rs7574865, rs7572482, rs7582694 rs11889341, and rs8179673).Our analysis revealed that all the minor alleles of the four SNPs (rs7574865, rs7582694, rs11889341, and rs8179673) had an association with overall decreased risk to HBV infection [p = 0.040, OR 0.762 (95 % CI 0.593-0.981); p = 0.011, OR 0.686 (95 % CI 0.535-0.878); p = 0.023, OR 0.751 (95 % CI 0.586-0.962); p = 0.002, OR 0.670 (95 % CI 0.521-0.861), respectively]. The major alleles of the four SNPs were found to be associated with increased risk of HBV-related cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Furthermore, the haplotype GGGCT constructed from the five SNPs was found to have a highly significant association with chronic HBV infection when compared to the controls who spontaneously recovered from HBV infection [p = 0.031, OR 1.368 (95 % CI 1.028-1.818)]. These findings indicate that STAT4 minor allele may be associated with the spontaneous clearance of HBV, whereas the major allele may be associated with the progress of the HBV-related liver disease.

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