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British journal of cancer

Withacnistin inhibits recruitment of STAT3 and STAT5 to growth factor and cytokine receptors and induces regression of breast tumours.


PMID 24983364

Abstract

The binding of STAT3 and STAT5 to growth factor and cytokine receptors such as EGFR and IL-6 receptor gp130 is critical to their activation and ability to contribute to malignant transformation. Therefore, interfering with these biochemical processes could lead to the discovery of novel anticancer agents. Co-immunoprecipitation, western blotting, microscopy, DNA binding, invasion, and soft agar assays as well as a mouse model were used to investigate the mechanism by which the natural product Withacnistin (Wit) inhibits STAT 3/5 tyrosine phosphoryaltion and activation. Wit blocks EGF- and IL-6-stimulated binding of STAT3 and STAT5 to EGFR and gp130. Wit inhibits EGF-, PDGF-, IL-6-, IFNβ-, and GM-CSF-stimulation of tyrosine phosphorylation of STAT3 and STAT5 but not of EGFR or PDGFR. The inhibition of P-STAT3 and P-STAT5 occurred rapidly, within minutes of Wit treatment and growth factor stimulation. Wit also inhibits STAT3 nuclear translocation, DNA binding, promoter transcriptional activation, and it suppresses the expression levels of STAT3 target genes such as Bcl-xL and Mcl-1. Finally, Wit induces apoptosis, inhibits anchorage-dependent and -independent growth and invasion, and causes breast tumour regression in an ErbB2-driven transgenic mouse model. These data warrant further development of Wit as a novel anticancer drug for targeting tumours that harbour hyperactivated STAT3 and STAT5.