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FEBS Lett. 2000 Dec 8;486(2):143-8.

Cross-talk between signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 and estrogen receptor signaling.

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Department of Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University, Sugitani, Toyama, Japan.


Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a multifunctional cytokine that plays important roles in the immune system, hematopoiesis, and acute phase reactions. Estrogens have significant roles in a variety of biological events, such as the development and maintenance of female reproductive organs, and bone and lipid metabolism. Previous studies demonstrated that estrogens suppress IL-6-induced osteoporosis and the growth of multiple myeloma cells by repressing IL-6 and IL-6 receptor gene expression. Here we present a novel mechanism for the inhibitory effect of estrogens on IL-6 function. IL-6-induced activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) activity and STAT3-mediated gene expression were suppressed by 17beta-estradiol (E2) in breast cancer cells. E2-mediated inhibition of STAT3 activation was reversed by tamoxifen, an estrogen receptor (ER) antagonist. We provide evidence that the inhibitory action of ER on STAT3 activity was due to direct physical interactions between STAT3 and ER which represents a novel form of cross-talk between STAT3 and ER signaling pathways.

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