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Signal transducers and activators of transcription (STATs) are a family of transcription factors that are activated in response to cytokines and growth factors. STAT3 activation has been implicated in modulating the activity of downstream mediators, such as Bcl-xL and matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2). The aim of this study was to investigate the immunohistochemical expression of STAT3, B-cell lymphoma-extra large (Bcl-xL), and MMP-2 proteins according to histopathological parameters in colon adenocarcinomas, including lymph node metastasis, tumor differentiation, the TNM stage and the tumor size. Immunohistochemical staining with monoclonal STAT3, Bcl-xL, and MMP-2 antibodies was performed on paraffin-embedded specimens from 20 colon adenomas and 39 adenocarcinomas. The expression of STAT3, Bcl-xL, and MMP-2 was increased in the adenocarcinomas as compared with the adenomas (p<0.001). STAT3 expression was stronger in tumors with a distant metastasis than in tumors without a distant metastasis (p=0.012). A larger tumor size was related to an increase in STAT3 expression (p=0.035). STAT3, Bcl-xL, and MMP-2 may play important roles in the tumorigenesis of colorectal carcinoma. STAT3 may be indicative of a poor prognosis due to its correlation with distant metastases and a larger tumor size.


Seung Woo Lee, Young Yong Ahn, Yon Soo Kim, Sang Beum Kang, Soon Woo Nam, Dong Soo Lee, Hyun Yong Jeong, Jin Man Kim. The Immunohistochemical Expression of STAT3, Bcl-xL, and MMP-2 Proteins in Colon Adenoma and Adenocarcinoma. Gut and liver. 2012 Jan;6(1):45-51

PMID: 22375170

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