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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the authors' final version prior to publication in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics

Volume 13, Issue 5, May 2014, Pages 1246-58.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-13-0605. Copyright ©

American Association for Cancer Research


Metastatic prostate cancer is lethal and lacks effective strategies for prevention or treatment, requiring novel therapeutic approaches. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a cytokine that has been linked with prostate cancer pathogenesis by multiple studies. However, the direct functional roles of IL-6 in prostate cancer growth and progression have been unclear. In the present study, we show that IL-6 is produced in distant metastases of clinical prostate cancers. IL-6-activated signaling pathways in prostate cancer cells induced a robust 7-fold increase in metastases formation in nude mice. We further show that IL-6 promoted migratory prostate cancer cell phenotype, including increased prostate cancer cell migration, microtubule reorganization, and heterotypic adhesion of prostate cancer cells to endothelial cells. IL-6-driven metastasis was predominantly mediated by Stat3 and to lesser extent by ERK1/2. Most importantly, pharmacologic inhibition of Jak1/2 by AZD1480 suppressed IL-6-induced signaling, migratory prostate cancer cell phenotypes, and metastatic dissemination of prostate cancer in vivo in nude mice. In conclusion, we demonstrate that the cytokine IL-6 directly promotes prostate cancer metastasis in vitro and in vivo via Jak-Stat3 signaling pathway, and that IL-6-driven metastasis can be effectively suppressed by pharmacologic targeting of Jak1/2 using Jak1/2 inhibitor AZD1480. Our results therefore provide a strong rationale for further development of Jak1/2 inhibitors as therapy for metastatic prostate cancer.

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