alexa JAK1 activates STAT3 activity in non-small-cell lung cancer cells and IL-6 neutralizing antibodies can suppress JAK1-STAT3 signaling.


Immunome Research

Author(s): Song L, Rawal B, Nemeth JA, Haura EB, Song L, Rawal B, Nemeth JA, Haura EB

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Abstract Members of the signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) family of transcription factors are potential targets for the treatment and prevention of cancers including non-small-cell lung cancer. STAT proteins can be phosphorylated and activated by diverse upstream kinases including cytokine receptors and tyrosine kinases. We examined STAT protein activation in lung cancer cell lines including those with activating mutations in the EGFR and examined upstream kinases responsible for STAT3 phosphorylation and activation using small molecules, antibodies, and RNA interference. We found more pronounced STAT3 activation in cells with activating EGFR mutations, yet inhibition of EGFR activity had no effect on STAT3 activation. Inhibition of JAK1 with small molecules or RNA interference resulted in loss of STAT3 tyrosine phosphorylation and inhibition of cell growth. An interleukin-6 neutralizing antibody, siltuximab (CNTO 328) could inhibit STAT3 tyrosine phosphorylation in a cell-dependent manner. Siltuximab could completely inhibit STAT3 tyrosine phosphorylation in H1650 cells, and this resulted in inhibition of lung cancer cell growth in vivo. Combined EGFR inhibition with erlotinib and siltuximab resulted in dual inhibition of both tyrosine and serine STAT3 phosphorylation, more pronounced inhibition of STAT3 transcriptional activity, and translated into combined effects on lung cancer growth in a mouse model. Our results suggest that JAK1 is responsible for STAT3 activation in lung cancer cells and that indirect attacks on JAK1-STAT3 using an IL-6 neutralizing antibody with or without EGFR inhibition can inhibit lung cancer growth in lung cancer subsets. ©2011 AACR.
This article was published in Mol Cancer Ther and referenced in Immunome Research

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