Signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 (STAT3) directly regulates cytokine-induced fascin expression and is required for breast cancer cell migration

Marylynn Snyder, Xin-Yun Huang, J Jillian Zhang
Journal of Biological Chemistry 2011 November 11, 286 (45): 38886-93
The cytokines oncostatin M (OSM) and IL-6 promote breast cancer cell migration and metastasis. Both cytokines activate STAT3, a member of the STAT (signal transducers and activators of transcription) family of transcription factors. Through transcriptional regulation of its target genes, STAT3 controls a wide range of cellular processes, including cellular proliferation, oncogenesis, and cancer metastasis. Fascin is an actin-bundling protein involved in cell migration. Elevated levels of fascin expression are found in many metastatic cancers, and inhibition of fascin function by small chemical compounds leads to a block of tumor metastasis. In this work, we demonstrate that fascin is a direct STAT3 target gene in response to OSM and IL-6 in both mouse and human breast cancer cells. We show that NFκB also binds to the fascin promoter in response to cytokine treatment and this binding is STAT3-dependent. Both STAT3 and NFκB are required for the cytokine-induced expression of fascin in cancer cells. Furthermore, we demonstrate that STAT3, in directly controlling fascin expression, is both necessary and sufficient for breast cancer cell migration.

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