Cyclin D1 is transcriptionally regulated by and required for transformation by activated signal transducer and activator of transcription 3
Cell Transformation, Neoplastic
STAT3 Transcription Factor
Signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 (STAT3) is a transcription factor that is aberrantly activated in many cancer cells. Constitutively activated STAT3 is oncogenic, presumably as a consequence of the genes that it differentially regulates. Activated STAT3 correlated with elevated cyclin D1 protein in primary breast tumors and breast cancer-derived cell lines. Cyclin D1 mRNA levels were increased in primary rat-, mouse-, and human-derived cell lines expressing either the oncogenic variant of STAT3 (STAT3-C) or vSrc, which constitutively phosphorylates STAT3. Mutagenesis of STAT3 binding sites within the cyclin D1 promoter and chromatin immunoprecipitation studies showed an association between STAT3 and the transcriptional regulation of the human cyclin D1 gene. Introduction of STAT3-C and vSrc into immortalized cyclin D1(-/-) and cyclin D1(-/+) fibroblasts led to anchorage-independent growth of only cyclin D1(-/+) cells. Furthermore, knockdown of cyclin D1 in breast carcinoma cells led to a reduction in anchorage-independent growth. Phosphorylation of the retinoblastoma (Rb) protein [a target of the cyclin D1/cyclin-dependent kinase 4/6 (cdk4/6) holoenzyme] was delayed in the cyclin D1(-/-) cells relative to cyclin D1(-/+) cells. The E7 oncogene, whose activity includes degradation of Rb and dissociation of Rb from E2F, did not confer anchorage-independent growth to the cyclin D1(-/-) cells but, in conjunction with vSrc, resulted in robust growth in soft agar. These results suggest both a cdk-dependent and cdk-independent role for cyclin D1 in modulating transformation by different oncogenes.