Date of Graduation


Document Type

Thesis (MS)

Program Affiliation

Biomedical Sciences

Degree Name

Masters of Science (MS)

Advisor/Committee Chair

Stephanie Watowich, Ph.D

Committee Member

Willem Overwijk, Ph.D

Committee Member

Wei Cao, Ph.D

Committee Member

Greg Lizee, Ph.D

Committee Member

Joya Chandra, Ph.D


Hyper IgE syndrome (HIES) is a multisystem disorder resulting in bone and immune system abnormalities. It is associated with mutations in STAT3, which disrupt protein domains responsible for transcriptional function. Patients with HIES display osteoporosis and enhanced inflammatory cytokine production similar to hematopoietic Stat3-deficient mice. Since osteoclast and inflammatory cytokine genes are NFκB targets, these observations indicate a possible deregulation of NFκB signaling in both mice and humans with STAT3-deficiency. Here, we sought to examine the role of STAT3 in the regulation of NFκB-mediated gene expression through analysis of three HIES STAT3 point mutations in both hematopoietic and non- hematopoietic cells. We found that IL-6-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of STAT3 was partially or completely abrogated by HIES mutations in the transactivation domain (V713L) or SH2 domain (V637M), respectively, in both hematopoietic and non- hematopoietic cells. By contrast, IL-6-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of an HIES mutant in the STAT3 DNA-binding domain (R382W) was intact. The R382W and V713L mutants significantly reduced IL-6-dependent STAT3 transcriptional activity in reporter gene assays. Moreover, the R382W and V637M mutants significantly diminished IL-6-responsive expression of the endogenous STAT3 target gene, Socs3, as assessed by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) in the RAW macrophage cell line. These observations indicate the HIES mutants dominantly suppress the transcriptional activity of wild type STAT3, albeit to varying degrees. All three HIES mutants enhanced LPS-induced expression of the NFκB target genes IL6 (IL-6), Cxcl10 (IP- 10), and Tnf (TNFα) in RAW cells, as indicated by qPCR. Furthermore, overexpression of wild type STAT3 in Stat3-deficient murine embryonic fibroblasts significantlyreduced LPS-stimulated expression of IL6, Cxcl10, and IL12p35. In addition, in aprimary murine osteoclast differentiation assay, a STAT3-specific SH2 domain inhibitor led to significantly increased levels of osteoclast-specific gene expression. These results suggest that STAT3 serves as a negative regulator of NFκB-mediated gene expression, and furthermore imply that STAT3 mutations associated with HIES contribute to the osteopenia and inflammation observed in HIES patients.


HIES, Hyper IgE syndrome, NFkB, MAPK, STAT3