STAT1 modification improves therapeutic effects of interferons on lung cancer cells

Junjie Chen, Jialu Zhao, Lefu Chen, Nian Dong, Zhaojian Ying, Zhenzhen Cai, Dongxiang Ji, Yong Zhang, Li Dong, Yuping Li, Lei Jiang, Michael J. Holtzman, Chengshui Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Background: Interferons (IFNs) have potent anti-proliferative, pro-apoptotic, and immunomodulatory activities against cancer. However, the clinical utility of IFNs is limited by toxicity and pharmacokinetics making it difficult to achieve sustained therapeutic levels especially in solid tumors. Methods: Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 1 (STAT1) or a modified STAT1 (designated STAT1-CC) that is hyper-responsive to IFN were overexpressed in lung cancer SPC-A-1 and H1299 cells using lentiviral vectors. Transduction efficiency was monitored using enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) expression. After transduction, cells were treated with interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) or interferon-beta (IFN-β) and monitored for cell proliferation, migration, and invasiveness using Cell Counting Kit-8 and transwell chamber assays and for apoptosis using Annexin V detection by flow cytometry. In addition, levels of STAT1, STAT1 Tyr-701 phosphorylation (pSTAT1), fibronectin, and β-catenin were determined using western blotting. In the case of IFN-γ stimulation, levels of S100A4, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), and c-fos expression were also determined. Results: We found that expression of STAT1 or STAT1-CC enhanced the effect of IFN-γ and, IFN-β on inhibition of human lung cancer cell proliferation, migration and invasiveness. Moreover, STAT1 and STAT1-CC expression caused increases in pSTAT1 and decreases in fibronectin and β-catenin levels. STAT1-CC showed increased effects compared to STAT1 on IFN-γ induced pSTAT1 and down-regulation of S100A4, PCNA, and c-fos levels. Conclusion: The results show that STAT1-CC exhibited more strength in improving the antitumor response of IFNs in lung cancer cells. Results from this study suggest that combined treatment of IFNs and STAT1-CC might be a feasible approach for the clinical management of lung cancer in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number293
JournalJournal of Translational Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 8 2015


  • Cell proliferation
  • Interferons
  • Lung cancer
  • Migration
  • Signal transducer and activator of transcription 1


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