Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 activation up-regulates interleukin-6 autocrine production: a biochemical and genetic study of established cancer cell lines and clinical isolated human cancer cells.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Spontaneous interleukin-6 (IL-6) production has been observed in various tumors and implicated in the pathogenesis, progression and drug resistance in cancer. However, the regulation of IL-6 autocrine production in cancer cells is not fully understood. IL-6 is auto-regulated in many types of cell. Two of the three major downstream pathways of IL-6, MEK/extracellular signal-related kinase (Erk) pathway and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-K)/Akt pathway, have been shown to regulate IL-6 expression through the activation of AP-1 and NF-?B. However, it is not clear what the role of Janus kinase (Jak) 2/signal transducer and activator of transcription (Stat) 3 pathway. This study was designed to determine the role of Jak2/Stat3 pathway in the regulation of IL-6 autocrine production in cancer cells. RESULTS: Inhibitors of Jak2/Stat3, MEK/Erk and PI3-K/Akt pathways down-regulated IL-6 secretion in the lung adenocarcinoma PC14PE6/AS2 (AS2) cells, which spontaneously secreted IL-6 and possessed constitutively activated Stat3. Transfection with dominant-negative Stat3, Stat3 siRNA, or Stat3 shRNA decreased IL-6 expression in AS2 cells. Conversely, transfection with constitutively-activated Stat3 increased the production of IL-6. In AS2 derived cells, resistance to paclitaxel was positively correlated with Stat3 activation status and the expression of IL-6, which is commonly secreted in drug resistant cancer cells. The pharmacological inhibition of NF-?B, PI3-K/Akt and MEK/Erk and the pharmacological inhibition and genetic inhibition (Stat3 siRNA) of Jak2/Stat3 pathway decreased IL-6 autocrine production in various drug resistant cancer cell lines and similarly decreased IL-6 autocrine production in clinically isolated lung cancer cells. CONCLUSIONS: This study is the first to directly address the role Stat3 plays on the autocrine production of IL-6, which occurs through a positive-feedback loop. Our biochemical and genetic studies clearly demonstrated that Jak2/Stat3, in combination with other IL-6 downstream pathways, contributed frequently and substantially to IL-6 autocrine production in a broad spectrum of cancer cell lines as well as in clinical cancer samples. Our findings suggest that Stat3 could potentially be regulated to suppress IL-6 autocrine production in cancer cells to inhibit the progression of cancer and reduce drug resistance.
Project description:Malignant pleural effusion (MPE) is a poor prognostic sign for patients with lung cancer. Tissue factor (TF) is a coagulation factor that participates in angiogenesis and vascular permeability and is abundant in MPE. We previously demonstrated that autocrine IL-6-activated Stat3 contributes to tumor metastasis and upregulation of VEGF, resulting in the generation of MPE in lung adenocarcinoma. In this study, we found IL-6-triggered Stat3 activation also induces TF expression. By using pharmacologic inhibitors, it was shown that JAK2 kinase, but not Src kinase, contributed to autocrine IL-6-induced TF expression. Inhibition of Stat3 activation by dominant negative Stat3 (S3D) in lung adenocarcinoma suppressed TF-induced coagulation, anchorage-independent growth in vitro, and tumor growth in vivo. Consistently, knockdown of TF expression by siRNA resulted in a reduction of anchorage-independent growth of lung adenocarcinoma cells. Inhibition of TF expression also decreased the adhesion ability of cancer cells in normal lung tissues. In the nude mouse model, both lung metastasis and MPE generation were decreased when PC14PE6/AS2-siTF cells (TF expression was silenced) were intravenously injected. PC14PE6/AS2-siTF cells also produced less malignant ascites through inhibition of vascular permeability. In summary, we showed that TF expression plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of MPE generation via regulating of tumor metastasis and vascular permeability in lung adenocarcinoma bearing activated Stat3.
Project description:Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) remains incurable with current standard therapy. We have previously reported that an increased expression of interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor CD126 leads to resistance of CLL cells to chemotherapy and worse prognosis for patients with CLL. In this study, we determine whether autocrine IL-6 production by CLL B cells is associated with poor clinical outcome and explore IL-6-mediated survival mechanism in primary CLL cells. Our results demonstrate that higher levels of autocrine IL-6 are significantly associated with shorter absolute lymphocyte doubling time, patients received treatment, without complete remission, advanced Binet stages, 17p/11q deletion, and shorter time to first time treatment and progression-free survival. IL-6 activated both STAT3 and nuclear factor kappa B (NF-?B) in primary CLL cells. Blocking IL-6 receptor and JAK2 inhibited IL-6-mediated activation of STAT3 and NF-?B. Our study demonstrates that an increased autocrine IL-6 production by CLL B-cells are associated with worse clinical outcome for patients with CLL. IL-6 promotes CLL cell survival by activating both STAT3 and NF-?B through diverse signaling cascades. Neutralizing IL-6 or blocking IL-6 receptor might contribute overcoming the resistance of CLL cells to chemotherapy. We propose that the measurement of autocrine IL-6 could be a useful approach to predict clinical outcome.
Project description:Metastatic breast cancers are aggressive tumors associated with high levels of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) markers, activation of IL6/JAK2/STAT3 and PI3K/AKT pathways for cell growth, mobility, invasion, metastasis, and CSC status. We identified a new molecular and functional network present in metastasis that regulates and coordinates with TrkC. Inhibition of SOCS3-mediated JAK2 degradation by TrkC increases total JAK2/STAT3 expression, and then leads to upregulation of Twist-1 through activation of JAK2/STAT3 cascade. Also, TrkC increases secretion and expression of IL-6, suggesting that this autocrine loop generated by TrkC maintains the mesenchymal state by continued activation of the JAK2/STAT3 cascade and upregulation of Twist expression. Moreover, TrkC interacts with the c-Src/Jak2 complex, which increases Twist-1 and Twist-2 levels via regulation of JAK2/STAT3 activation and JAK2/STAT3 expression. Furthermore, TrkC enhances metastatic potential of breast cancer via induction of EMT by upregulating Twist-1 and Twist-2. Additionally, TrkC significantly enhances the ability of breast cancer cells to form pulmonary metastases and primary tumor formation. Unexpectedly, we found that TrkC expression and clinical breast tumor pathological phenotypes show significant correlation. These findings suggest that TrkC plays a central role in tumorigenicity, metastasis, and self-renewal traits of metastatic breast cancer.
Project description:Human bronchial epithelial cells exposed to synthetic double-stranded RNA (poly I:C) exhibited increased IL-6 and RANTES secretion and TLR2 expression that was inhibited following TLR3 silencing. Increased NF-κB and Stat3 phosphorylation were detected after poly I:C exposure and pretreatment with neutralizing antibody targeting IL-6 receptor α (IL-6Rα -nAb) or blocking Jak2 and Stat3 activity inhibited Stat3 phosphorylation. TLR2 up-regulation by poly I:C was also reduced by IL-6Rα-nAb and inhibitors of Jak2, Stat3 and NF-κB phosphorylation, whereas RANTES secretion was unaffected, but abolished following NF-κB inhibition. Treatment with exogenous IL-6 failed to increase TLR2. These findings demonstrate that TLR3 activation differentially regulates TLR expression through autocrine signaling involving IL-6 secretion, IL-6Rα activation and subsequent phosphorylation of Stat3. The results also indicate that NF-κB and Stat3 are required for TLR3-dependent up-regulation of TLR2 and that its delayed expression was due to a requirement for IL-6-dependent Stat3 activation.
Project description:Cytokines are deregulated in cancers and can contribute to tumor growth. In patients with diffuse large-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), we observed higher levels of JAK/STAT pathway-related serum cytokines (ie, IL-6, IL-10, epidermal growth factor, and IL-2) compared with controls. Of these, only IL-10 activated the JAK2 pathway in lymphoma cells in vitro. Patients with high serum IL-10 had shorter event-free survival (EFS) than patients with low levels (P > .01) and high IL-10 was correlated with high lactase dehydrogenase (P = .0085) and higher International Prognostic Index scores (P = .01). To explore the mechanism by which IL-10 may contribute to an inferior EFS, we investigated the effect of IL-10 on the JAK2 pathway and found that the IL-10/IL-10 receptor complex up-regulated JAK2 signaling. Neutralizing Ab to IL-10 inhibited constitutive and IL-10-induced JAK2/STAT3 phosphorylation. JAK2 inhibition dephosphorylated JAK2 and STAT3 and caused an inhibitory effect on phospho-JAK2-positive DLBCL cells; there was a minimal effect on phospho-JAK2-negative cells. Apoptosis induced by JAK2 inhibition was dependent on inhibition of autocrine IL-10 and c-myc expression and independent of Bcl-2 family expression. These results provide the rationale for testing JAK2 inhibitors in DLBCL patients, and indicate that serum IL-10 may be a biomarker to identify patients more likely to respond to JAK2-targeted therapy.
Project description:HER2-positive (HER2(+)) breast adenocarcinomas are a heterogeneous group in which hormone receptor (HR) status influences therapeutic decisions and patient outcome. By combining genome-wide RNAi screens with regulatory network analysis, we identified STAT3 as a critically activated master regulator of HR(-)/HER2(+) tumors, eliciting tumor dependency in these cells. Mechanistically, HR(-)/HER2(+) cells secrete high levels of the interleukin-6 (IL-6) cytokine, inducing the activation of STAT3, which in turn promotes a second autocrine stimulus to increase S100A8/9 complex (calprotectin) production and secretion. Increased calprotectin levels activate signaling pathways involved in proliferation and resistance. Importantly, we demonstrated that inhibition of the IL-6-Janus kinase 2 (JAK2)-STAT3-calprotectin axis with FDA-approved drugs, alone and in combination with HER2 inhibitors, reduced the tumorigenicity of HR(-)/HER2(+) breast cancers, opening novel targeted therapeutic opportunities.
Project description:Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is overexpressed in ovarian carcinomas, with direct or indirect activation of EGFR able to trigger tumour growth. We demonstrate significant activation of both signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)3 and its upstream activator Janus kinase (JAK)2, in high-grade ovarian carcinomas compared with normal ovaries and benign tumours. The association between STAT3 activation and migratory phenotype of ovarian cancer cells was investigated by EGF-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in OVCA 433 and SKOV3 ovarian cancer cell lines. Ligand activation of EGFR induced a fibroblast-like morphology and migratory phenotype, consistent with the upregulation of mesenchyme-associated N-cadherin, vimentin and nuclear translocation of beta-catenin. This occurred concomitantly with activation of the downstream JAK2/STAT3 pathway. Both cell lines expressed interleukin-6 receptor (IL-6R), and treatment with EGF within 1 h resulted in a several-fold enhancement of mRNA expression of IL-6. Consistent with that, EGF treatment of both OVCA 433 and SKOV3 cell lines resulted in enhanced IL-6 production in the serum-free medium. Exogenous addition of IL-6 to OVCA 433 cells stimulated STAT3 activation and enhanced migration. Blocking antibodies against IL-6R inhibited IL-6 production and EGF- and IL-6-induced migration. Specific inhibition of STAT3 activation by JAK2-specific inhibitor AG490 blocked STAT3 phosphorylation, cell motility, induction of N-cadherin and vimentin expression and IL6 production. These data suggest that the activated status of STAT3 in high-grade ovarian carcinomas may occur directly through activation of EGFR or IL-6R or indirectly through induction of IL-6R signalling. Such activation of STAT3 suggests a rationale for a combination of anti-STAT3 and EGFR/IL-6R therapy to suppress the peritoneal spread of ovarian cancer.
Project description:Transmembrane 4 L6 family proteins have been known to promote cancer. In this study, we demonstrated that transmembrane 4 L6 family member 4 (TM4SF4), which is induced by ?-radiation in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells, is involved in epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and cancer stem cell (CSC) properties of NSCLC through the regulation of osteopontin (OPN). Forced TM4SF4 overexpression in A549 cells increased the secretion of OPN, which activates CD44 or integrin signaling and thus maintains EMT-associated CSC-like properties. OPN, known as a downstream target of ?-catenin/T-cell factor 4 (TCF-4), was induced by up-regulated ?-catenin via TM4SF4-driven phosphorylation of glycogen synthase kinase 3b (GSK3?). TCF4 complexed to promoter regions of OPN in TM4SF4-overexpressing A549 cells was also confirmed by chromatin immunoprecipitation. Knockout of either ?-catenin or TCF4-suppressed OPN expression, demonstrating that both factors are essential for OPN expression in NSCLC cells. OPN secreted by TM4SF4/GSK3?/?-catenin signaling activated the JAK2/STAT3 or FAK/STAT3 pathway, which also up-regulates OPN expression in an autocrine manner and consequently maintains the self-renewal and metastatic capacity of cancer cells. Neutralizing antibody to OPN blocked the autocrine activation of OPN expression, consequently weakened the metastatic and self-renewal capacity of cancer cells. Collectively, our findings indicate that TM4SF4-triggered OPN expression is involved in the persistent reinforcement of EMT or cancer stemness by creating a positive feedback autocrine loop with JAK2/STAT3 or FAK/STAT3 pathways.
Project description:Persistent human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is the leading cause of cervical cancer. Although the fundamental link between HPV infection and oncogenesis is established, the specific mechanisms of virus-mediated transformation are not fully understood. We previously demonstrated that the HPV encoded E6 protein increases the activity of the proto-oncogenic transcription factor STAT3 in primary human keratinocytes; however, the molecular basis for STAT3 activation in cervical cancer remains unclear. Here, we show that STAT3 phosphorylation in HPV positive cervical cancer cells is mediated primarily via autocrine activation by the pro-inflammatory cytokine Interleukin 6 (IL-6). Antibody-mediated blockade of IL-6 signalling in HPV positive cells inhibits STAT3 phosphorylation, whereas both recombinant IL-6 and conditioned media from HPV positive cells leads to increased STAT3 phosphorylation within HPV negative cervical cancer cells. Interestingly, we demonstrate that activation of the transcription factor NF?B, involving the small GTPase Rac1, is required for IL-6 production and subsequent STAT3 activation. Our data provides new insights into the molecular re-wiring of cancer cells by HPV E6. We reveal that activation of an IL-6 signalling axis drives the autocrine and paracrine phosphorylation of STAT3 within HPV positive cervical cancers cells and that activation of this pathway is essential for cervical cancer cell proliferation and survival. Greater understanding of this pathway provides a potential opportunity for the use of existing clinically approved drugs for the treatment of HPV-mediated cervical cancer.
Project description:Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), as the activated fibroblasts in tumor stroma, are important modifiers of tumor progression. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the tumor-promoting properties of CAFs in gastric cancer remain unclear. Here, we show that CAFs isolated from gastric cancer produce significant amounts of interleukin-6 (IL-6). CAFs enhances the migration and EMT of gastric cancer cells through the secretion of IL-6 that activates Janus kinase 2/signal transducers and activators of transcription (JAK2/STAT3) pathway in gastric cancer cells, while deprivation of IL-6 using a neutralizing antibody or inhibition of JAK/STAT3 pathway with specific inhibitor AG490 markedly attenuates these phenotypes in gastric cancer cells induced by CAFs. Moreover, silencing IL-6 expression in CAFs or inhibiting JAK2/STAT3 pathway in gastric cancer cells impairs tumor peritoneal metastasis induced by CAFs in vivo. Taken together, these results suggest that CAFs in the tumor microenvironment promote the progression of gastric cancer through IL-6/JAK2/STAT3 signaling, and IL-6 targeted therapy could be a complementary approach against gastric cancer by exerting their action on stromal fibroblasts.