Inhibition of STAT3 blocks protein synthesis and tumor metastasis in osteosarcoma cells 06 Biological Sciences 0601 Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Dongqing Zuo, Kristen L. Shogren, Jie Zang, Donna E. Jewison, Brian E. Waletzki, Alan L. Miller, Scott H. Okuno, Zhengdong Cai, Michael J. Yaszemski, Avudaiappan Maran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background: Osteosarcoma is the most common bone cancer. Despite advances, molecular mechanisms associated with osteosarcoma have not been fully understood. Hence, an effective treatment for osteosarcoma has yet to be developed. Even though signal transducer and activator of transcription3 (STAT3) has been implicated, its role in pathogenesis of osteosarcoma is not fully determined. In this study, we investigated the antitumor effect of napabucasin (NP) (BBI608), an inhibitor of STAT3 on osteosarcoma in vitro and in vivo and studied the underlying molecular mechanism. Methods: Cell viability, colony formation, apoptosis, tumor growth and metastasis assays were performed to examine the effect of NP on osteosarcoma in vitro and in vivo. Real-time RT-PCR, western analysis, immunofluorescence and reporter assays were used to monitor the expression and activity of proteins and underlying molecular pathways. Protein synthesis, co-immunoprecipitation and CAP binding assays were carried out to understand NP-mediated mechanism of actions in osteosarcoma cells. Results: Our results show that NP treatment decreases cell viability and induces apoptosis in several osteosarcoma cell lines. NP treatment suppresses both expression and phosphorylation of STAT3 in addition to blocking STAT3-mediated transcription and downstream target proteins in osteosarcoma cells. Furthermore, NP inhibits protein synthesis through regulation of the eukaryotic initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) and eIF4E-binding protein 1 (4E-BP1). NP also inhibits the progression of osteosarcoma tumors and metastasis in vivo in an orthotopic tibial model of osteosarcoma. Conclusions: Taken together, our investigation reveals that NP acts through a novel mechanism and inhibits osteosarcoma growth and metastasis, and could be investigated clinically for treating osteosarcoma patients alone or in combination with other drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number244
JournalJournal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 4 2018


  • 4EBP-1
  • Apoptosis
  • Napabucasin
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Protein synthesis
  • eIF4E

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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