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J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2013 Oct 25;32:83. doi: 10.1186/1756-9966-32-83.

Everolimus-induced human keratinocytes toxicity is mediated by STAT3 inhibition.



Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors are associated with dermatological adverse events. The chief aim of this study was to examine the relation between the signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) protein and the dermatological adverse events associated with the mTOR inhibitor everolimus.


We evaluated the effects of STAT3 activity and related signal transduction activities on everolimus-induced cell growth inhibition in the human keratinocyte HaCaT cell line via a WST-8 assay, and on signal transduction mechanisms involved in everolimus treatments via a western blot analysis. Apoptosis was evaluated using an imaging cytometric assay.


The cell growth inhibitory effects of everolimus were enhanced by stattic or STA-21, which are selective inhibitors of STAT3, treatment in HaCaT cells, although such effects were not observed in Caki-1 and HepG2 cells. Phosphorylation at tyrosine 705 of STAT3 was decreased by treatment with everolimus in a dose-dependent manner in HaCaT cells; in contrast, phosphorylation at serine 727 was not decreased by everolimus, but slightly increased. Furthermore, we found that pretreatment of p38 MAPK inhibitor and transfection with constitutively active form of STAT3 in HaCaT cells resisted the cytostatic activity of everolimus.


These findings suggest that STAT3 activity may be a biomarker of everolimus-induced dermatological toxicity.

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