STAT3 as a central mediator of neoplastic cellular transformation

Cancer Lett. 2007 Jun 28;251(2):199-210. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2006.10.017. Epub 2006 Nov 28.


Much of the focus in understanding the molecular pathogenesis of tumors has centered on kinases that are activated in cancer. However, cancers driven by a diversity of activated kinases may have very similar pathological and clinical properties. This likely relates to the fact that the biological characteristics of a tumor are driven by the pattern of gene expression in that tumor, and that a wide spectrum of activating events at the cell surface and in the cytoplasm converge on a relatively small number of transcription factors that regulate the expression of key target genes. One transcription factor that has been found to be activated inappropriately in a wide range of human cancers is STAT3. STAT3 target genes are involved in fundamental events of tumor development including proliferation, survival, self-renewal, invasion, and angiogenesis. Furthermore, there is strong evidence that STAT3 is critical for these processes, in that inhibition of STAT3 by a variety of means can exert an anti-cancer effect. Since normal cells are relatively tolerant of interruption in STAT3 signaling, these findings suggest that STAT3 may also be an excellent target for the molecular therapy of cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Gene Targeting
  • Genes, Regulator
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction


  • STAT3 Transcription Factor