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Cancer Cell. 2009 Feb 3;15(2):91-102. doi: 10.1016/j.ccr.2009.01.002.

gp130-mediated Stat3 activation in enterocytes regulates cell survival and cell-cycle progression during colitis-associated tumorigenesis.

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2nd Department of Medicine, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technical University Munich, Munich, Germany.


Although gastrointestinal cancers are frequently associated with chronic inflammation, the underlying molecular links have not been comprehensively deciphered. Using loss- and gain-of-function mice in a colitis-associated cancer model, we establish here a link comprising the gp130/Stat3 transcription factor signaling axis. Mutagen-induced tumor growth and multiplicity are reduced following intestinal epithelial cell (IEC)-specific Stat3 ablation, while its hyperactivation promotes tumor incidence and growth. Conversely, IEC-specific Stat3 deficiency enhances susceptibility to chemically induced epithelial damage and subsequent mucosal inflammation, while excessive Stat3 activation confers resistance to colitis. Stat3 has the capacity to mediate IL-6- and IL-11-dependent IEC survival and to promote proliferation through G1 and G2/M cell-cycle progression as the common tumor cell-autonomous mechanism that bridges chronic inflammation to tumor promotion.

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