STAT3 and its targeting inhibitors in osteosarcoma

Yun Liu, Shijie Liao, Samuel Bennett, Haijun Tang, Dezhi Song, David Wood, Xinli Zhan, Jiake Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

92 Citations (Scopus)


Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) is one of seven STAT family members involved with the regulation of cellular growth, differentiation and survival. STAT proteins are conserved among eukaryotes and are important for biological functions of embryogenesis, immunity, haematopoiesis and cell migration. STAT3 is widely expressed and located in the cytoplasm in an inactive form. STAT3 is rapidly and transiently activated by tyrosine phosphorylation by a range of signalling pathways, including cytokines from the IL-6 family and growth factors, such as EGF and PDGF. STAT3 activation and subsequent dimer formation initiates nuclear translocation of STAT3 for the regulation of target gene transcription. Four STAT3 isoforms have been identified, which have distinct biological functions. STAT3 is considered a proto-oncogene and constitutive activation of STAT3 is implicated in the development of various cancers, including multiple myeloma, leukaemia and lymphomas. In this review, we focus on recent progress on STAT3 and osteosarcoma (OS). Notably, STAT3 is overexpressed and associated with the poor prognosis of OS. Constitutive activation of STAT3 in OS appears to upregulate the expression of target oncogenes, leading to OS cell transformation, proliferation, tumour formation, invasion, metastasis, immune evasion and drug resistance. Taken together, STAT3 is a target for cancer therapy, and STAT3 inhibitors represent potential therapeutic candidates for the treatment of OS.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12974
JournalCell Proliferation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


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