Qi X, et al. Molecules 2020.
Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) is a transcription factor that contributes to cancer progression through multiple processes of cancer development, which makes it an attractive target for cancer therapy. The IL-6/STAT3 pathway is associated with an advanced stage in colorectal cancer patients. In this study, we identified trichothecin (TCN) as a novel STAT3 inhibitor. TCN was found to bind to the SH2 domain of STAT3 and inhibit STAT3 activation and dimerization, thereby
blocking STAT3 nuclear translocation and transcriptional activity. TCN did not affect phosphorylation levels of STAT1. TCN significantly inhibited cell growth, arrested cell cycle at the G0/G1 phase, and induced apoptosis in HCT 116 cells. In addition, the capacities of colony formation, migration, and invasion of HCT 116 cells were impaired upon exposure to TCN with or without IL-6 stimulation. In addition, TCN treatment abolished the tube formation of HUVEC cells in vitro. Taken together, these results highlight that TCN inhibits various cancer-related features in colorectal cancer development in vitro by targeting STAT3, indicating that TCN is a promising STAT3 inhibitor that deserves further exploration in the future.