CDK5RAP3 is a co-factor for the oncogenic transcription factor STAT3.

Academic Article


  • The transcription factor STAT3 regulates genes governing critical cellular processes such as proliferation, survival, and self-renewal. While STAT3 transcriptional function is activated rapidly and transiently in response to physiologic signals, through a variety of mechanisms it can become constitutively activated in the pathogenesis of cancer. This leads to chronic expression of genes that underlie malignant cellular behavior. However, STAT3 is known to interact with other proteins, which may modulate its function. Understanding these interactions can provide insights into novel aspects of STAT3 function and may also suggest strategies to therapeutically target the large number of cancers driven by constitutively activated STAT3. To identify critical modulators of STAT3 transcriptional function, we performed an RNA-interference based screen in a cell-based system that allows quantitative measurement of STAT3 activity. From this approach, we identified CDK5 kinase regulatory-subunit associated protein 3 (CDK5RAP3) as an enhancer of STAT3-dependent gene expression. We found that STAT3 transcriptional function is modulated by CDK5RAP3 in cancer cells, and silencing CDK5RAP3 reduces STAT3-mediated tumorigenic phenotypes including clonogenesis and migration. Mechanistically, CDK5RAP3 binds to STAT3-regulated genomic loci, in a STAT3-dependent manner. In primary human breast cancers, the expression of CDK5RAP3 expression was associated with STAT3 gene expression signatures as well as the expression of individual STAT3 target genes. These findings reveal a novel aspect of STAT3 transcriptional function and potentially provide both a biomarker of enhanced STAT3-dependent gene expression as well as a unique mechanism to therapeutically target STAT3.
  • Authors

  • Egusquiaguirre, Susana P
  • Liu, Suhu
  • Tošić, Isidora
  • Jiang, Kevin
  • Walker, Sarah
  • Nicolais, Maria
  • Saw, Tzuen Yih
  • Xiang, Michael
  • Bartel, Katarina
  • Nelson, Erik A
  • Frank, David A
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • January 2020
  • Published In

  • Neoplasia  Journal
  • Keywords

  • Biomarkers
  • Breast Neoplasms
  • Carcinogenesis
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cytokines
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Humans
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Transport
  • RNA Interference
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Tyrosine
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 47
  • End Page

  • 59
  • Volume

  • 22
  • Issue

  • 1