Signal transducer and activators of transcription (STAT)1 and STAT3 cross-regulate their activity downstream of gp130 cytokines, and eliminating STAT3 leads to IFN-γ-like responses to IL-6 correlating with prolonged STAT1 phosphorylation. Here we demonstrate that the increased gp130-mediated induction of the IFN-γ-responsive interferon regulatory factor 1 gene observed in STAT3(-/-) cells correlates with prolonged STAT1 binding to its promoter. Intriguingly, gp130-mediated induction of the immediate early genes FBJ osteosarcoma oncogene and early growth response 1 is also prolonged in STAT3(-/-) cells, with STAT1 binding to their promoters. Thus the abrogation of STAT3 expression, perturbing the signaling balance, directs the STAT1 oncosuppressor to transcribe new target genes, known to drive mitogen responses and tumor transformation.
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