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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the authors' final version prior to publication in Clinical Cancer Research Volume 14, Issue 5, March 2008, Pages 1317-1324. The published version is available at . DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-07-2024. Copyright © American Association for Cancer Research.


Purpose: Stat5a/b is the key mediator of prolactin (Prl) effects in prostate cancer cells via activation of Jak2. Prl is locally produced growth factor in human prostate cancer. Prl protein expression and constitutive activation of Stat5a/b are associated with high histological grade of clinical prostate cancer. Moreover, activation of Stat5a/b in primary prostate cancer predicts early disease recurrence. Here, we inhibited Stat5a/b by several different methodological approaches. Our goal was to establish a proof-of-principle that Stat5a/b is critical for prostate cancer cell viability in vitro and for prostate tumor growth in vivo.

Experimental Design: We inhibited Stat5a/b protein expression by antisense oligonucleotides or RNA interference and transcriptional activity of Stat5a/b by adenoviral expression of a dominant-negative mutant of Stat5a/b in prostate cancer cells in culture. Moreover, Stat5a/b activity was suppressed in human prostate cancer xenograft tumors in nude mice. Stat5a/b regulation of BclXL and Cyclin-D1 protein levels was demonstrated by antisense suppression of Stat5a/b protein expression followed by Western blotting.

Results and Conclusions: We show here that inhibition of Stat5a/b by antisense oligonuleotides, RNA interference, or adenoviral expression of DNStat5a/b all effectively kill prostate cancer cells. Moreover, we demonstrate that Stat5a/b is critical for human prostate cancer xenograft growth in nude mice. Stat5a/b effects on the viability of on prostate cancer cells involve Stat5a/b-regulation of BclXL and Cyclin-D1 protein levels, but not the expression or activation of Stat3. This work establishes Stat5a/b as a therapeutic target protein for prostate cancer. Pharmacological inhibition of Stat5a/b in prostate cancer can be achieved by small-molecule inhibitors of transactivation, dimerization or DNA-binding of Stat5a/b.