Viral manipulation of STAT3: Evade, exploit, and injure

PLoS Pathog. 2018 Mar 15;14(3):e1006839. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1006839. eCollection 2018 Mar.


Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) is a key regulator of numerous physiological functions, including the immune response. As pathogens elicit an acute phase response with concerted activation of STAT3, they are confronted with two evolutionary options: either curtail it or employ it. This has important consequences for the host, since abnormal STAT3 function is associated with cancer development and other diseases. This review provides a comprehensive outline of how human viruses cope with STAT3-mediated inflammation and how this affects the host. Finally, we discuss STAT3 as a potential target for antiviral therapy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / etiology*
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Virus Diseases / metabolism
  • Virus Diseases / virology*
  • Viruses / pathogenicity*


  • STAT3 Transcription Factor

Grants and funding

This work was supported by grants from the Wilhelm Sander-Stiftung (Förderantrag 2010.023.1 to TFB -, the European Union (Interreg IV-Rhin Supérieur-FEDER-Hepato-Regio-Net to TFB -; ERC-AdG-2014 HEPCIR to TFB -; EU H2020 HEPCAR to TFB -, the French Cancer Agency (ARC IHU201301187 to TFB -, the University of Strasbourg (IdEx, Projet Attractivité 2014, ANR, to JL -, the French ANRS (ECTZ4236, ECTZ4446 to JL and AARS - and Cancéropôle Est (AAP Emergence du CGE / 2017 to JL, - The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.