Systematic Transcriptional Profiling of Responses to STAT1- and STAT3-Activating Cytokines in Different Cancer Types

Mélanie Kirchmeyer, Florence Servais, Aurélien Ginolhac, Petr V Nazarov, Christiane Margue, Demetra Philippidou, Nathalie Nicot, Iris Behrmann, Claude Haan, Stephanie Kreis
Journal of Molecular Biology 2020 September 17
Cytokines orchestrate responses to pathogens and in inflammatory processes but they also play an important role in cancer by shaping the expression levels of cytokine response genes. Here, we conducted a large profiling study comparing miRNome and mRNA transcriptome data generated following different cytokine stimulations. Transcriptomic responses to STAT1- (IFNγ, IL-27) and STAT3-activating cytokines (IL6, OSM) were systematically compared in nine cancerous and non-neoplastic cell lines of different tissue origins (skin, liver and colon). The largest variation in our datasets was seen between cell lines of the three different tissues rather than stimuli. Notably, the variability in miRNome datasets was a lot more pronounced than in mRNA data. Our data also revealed that cells of skin, liver and colon tissues respond very differently to cytokines and that the cell signaling networks activated or silenced in response to STAT1- or STAT3-activating cytokines are specific to the tissue and the type of cytokine. However, globally, STAT1-activating cytokines had stronger effects than STAT3-inducing cytokines with most significant responses in liver cells, showing more genes up-regulated and with higher fold change. A more detailed analysis of gene regulations upon cytokine stimulation in these cells provided insights into STAT1- versus STAT3-driven processes in hepatocarcinogenesis. Finally, independent component analysis revealed interconnected transcriptional networks distinct between cancer cells and their healthy counterparts.

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