Signal transducers and activators of transcription as regulators of growth, apoptosis and breast development

Breast Cancer Res. 2000;2(2):86-90. doi: 10.1186/bcr38. Epub 2000 Jan 28.


STAT transcription factors were discovered 10 years ago as mediators of interferon-induced gene expression. They now form an important group, comprising seven members, that are activated by virtually every cytokine and growth factor. Their critical role in development and normal cell signaling has been largely determined through the analysis of transgenic mice lacking individual STAT genes. In addition, cell culture work has further delineated their importance in cellular transformation, apoptosis, differentiation and growth control. This review discusses the specific phenotypes of STAT-deficient animals with a focus on STAT5 and STAT3, as these two STAT molecules are required for normal breast development and involution, respectively, and may play an important role in breast carcinogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / physiology*
  • Breast / growth & development*
  • Breast / physiology
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Division / physiology
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / chemistry
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Milk Proteins*
  • STAT1 Transcription Factor
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor
  • STAT5 Transcription Factor
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Trans-Activators / chemistry
  • Trans-Activators / physiology*
  • Transcription, Genetic / physiology*
  • Transcriptional Activation


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Milk Proteins
  • STAT1 Transcription Factor
  • STAT1 protein, human
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor
  • STAT3 protein, human
  • STAT5 Transcription Factor
  • Trans-Activators