Date of Graduation


Document Type

Dissertation (PhD)

Program Affiliation

Biomedical Sciences

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Advisor/Committee Chair

Reuben Lotan, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Pierre D. McCrea, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Faye M Johnson, MD, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Sue-Hwa Lin, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Xiaochun Xu, MD, Ph.D.


Signal transduction and activator of transcription 3 (Stat3) is activated by cytokines and growth factors in many cancers. Persistent activation of Stat3 plays important role in cell growth, survival, and transformation through regulating its targeted genes.

Previously, we found that mice with a deletion of the G protein-coupled receptor, family C, group 5, member a (Gprc5a) gene develop lung tumors indicating that Gprc5a is a tumor suppressor. In the present study, we examined he mechanism of Gprc5a-mediated tumor suppression. We found that epithelial cells from Gprc5a knockout mouse lung (Gprc5a-/- cells) survive better in vitro in medium deprived of exogenous growth factors and form more colonies in semi-solid medium than their counterparts from wildtype mice (Gprc5a+/+ cells). The phosphorylation of tyrosine 705 on Stat3 and the expression of Stat3-regulated anti-apoptotic genes Bcl-XL, Cryab, Hapa1a, and Mcl1 were higher in the Gprc5a-/- than in Gprc5a+/+ cells. In addition, their responses to Lif were different; Stat3 activation was persistent by Lif treatment in the Gprc5a-/- cells, but was transient in the Gprc5a+/+ cells. The persistent activation of Stat3 by Lif in Gprc5a-/- cells is due to a decreased level of Socs3 protein, a negative inhibitor of the Lif-Stat3 signaling. Restoration of Socs3 inhibited the persistent Stat3 activation in Gprc5a-/- cells. Lung adenocarcinoma cells isolated from Gprc5a-/- mice also exhibited autocrine Lif-mediated Stat3 activation. Treatment of Gprc5a-/- cells isolated from normal and tumor tissue with AG490, a Stat3 signaling inhibitor, or with dominant negative Stat3(Y705F) increased starvation-induced apoptosis and inhibited anchorage-independent growth.

These results suggest that persistent Stat3 activation increased the survival and transformation of Gprc5a-/- lung cells. Thus, the tumor suppressive effects of Gprc5a are mediated, at least in part, by inhibition of Stat3 signaling through regulating the stability of the Socs3 protein.


lung cancer, Gprc5a, tumor suppressor, Stat3, Lif, survival