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Oncogene. 2004 Oct 18;23(48):8017-23.

Role of STATs as downstream signal transducers in Src family kinase-mediated tumorigenesis.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, the Cancer Center, University of Virginia, Health System, Box 800578, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.


The signal transducers and activators of transcription (STATs) were originally identified in the signaling pathway activated by the nontyrosine kinase containing cytokine receptors. The role of these STATs in hematopoietic cell signaling has been well described. In the case of cytokine receptors, activation of STAT tyrosine phosphorylation occurs through ligand-induced recruitment, and activation of the intracellular JAK kinases. However, STATs can also be activated by growth factor receptors, particularly the EGFR; as well as by members of the Src Family of Kinases (SFKs), particularly c-Src. In many cases, there is a differential activation of the STATs by these tyrosine kinases as compared to activation by the cytokine receptors. This difference provides for the potential of unique actions of STATs in response to growth factor receptor and SFK activation. Since there are many cancers in which SFKs and c-Src in particular, are co-overexpressed with growth factor receptors, it is not surprising that STATs play an important role in the tumorigenesis process induced by c-Src. The activation paradigm and role of STATs in these cancers, with particular emphasis on breast cancer models, is discussed.

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