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Cancer Res. 2011 Dec 1;71(23):7226-37. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-4660. Epub 2011 Sep 7.

STAT3 is necessary for proliferation and survival in colon cancer-initiating cells.

Author information

1
Center for Childhood Cancer, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43205, USA. linlee75215@yahoo.com.cn

Abstract

STAT3 is constitutively activated in colon cancer but its contributions in cancer-initiating cells have not been explored. In this study, we characterized STAT3 in aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH)-positive (ALDH(+)) and CD133-positive (CD133(+)) subpopulations of human colon tumor cells that exhibited more potent tumor-initiating ability than ALDH(-)/CD133(-) cells in tumor xenograft assays in mice. We found that ALDH(+)/CD133(+) cells expressed higher levels of the active phosphorylated form of STAT3 than either ALDH(-)/CD133(-) or unfractionated colon cancer cells. STAT3 inhibition by RNA interference-mediated knockdown or small-molecule inhibitors LLL12 or Stattic blocked downstream target gene expression, cell viability, and tumorsphere-forming capacity in cancer-initiating cells. Similarly, treatment of mouse tumor xenografts with STAT3 short hairpin RNA (shRNA), interleukin 6 shRNA, or LLL12 inhibited tumor growth. Our results establish that STAT3 is constitutively activated in colon cancer-initiating cells and that these cells are sensitive to STAT3 inhibition. These findings establish a powerful rationale to develop STAT3 inhibitory strategies for treating advanced colorectal cancers.

PMID:
21900397
PMCID:
PMC4295768
DOI:
10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-4660
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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