STAT3 modulates the DNA damage response pathway

Int J Exp Pathol. 2010 Dec;91(6):506-14. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2613.2010.00734.x. Epub 2010 Aug 27.


The STAT3 transcription factor is well known to function as an anti-apoptotic factor, especially in numerous malignancies. Recently we showed that STAT3 is cytoprotective and that cells lacking STAT3 are more sensitive to oxidative stress. A key feature of oxidative stress involves activation of the DNA damage pathway. However, a role for STAT3 or its contribution in response to DNA damage has not been described. In the present study we show that cells lacking STAT3 are less efficient in repairing damaged DNA. Moreover, STAT3 deficient cells show reduced activity of the ATM-Chk2 and ATR-Chk1 pathways, both important pathways in sensing DNA damage. Finally we show that MDC1, a regulator of the ATM-Chk2 pathway and facilitator of the DNA damage response, is modulated by STAT3 at the transcriptional level. These findings demonstrate that STAT3 is necessary for efficient repair of damaged DNA, partly by modulating the ATM-Chk2 and ATR-Chk1 pathways.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated Proteins
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Survival
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Checkpoint Kinase 1
  • Checkpoint Kinase 2
  • DNA Damage*
  • DNA Repair*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Protein Kinases / genetics
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor / genetics
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / metabolism


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Protein Kinases
  • Checkpoint Kinase 2
  • ATM protein, human
  • ATR protein, human
  • Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated Proteins
  • Atm protein, mouse
  • CHEK1 protein, human
  • CHEK2 protein, human
  • Checkpoint Kinase 1
  • Chek1 protein, mouse
  • Chek2 protein, mouse
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases