EAF2 and p53 Co-Regulate STAT3 Activation in Prostate Cancer.
The tumor suppressor genes EAF2 and p53 are frequently dysregulated in prostate cancers. Recently, we reported that concurrent p53 nuclear staining and EAF2 downregulation were associated with high Gleason score. Combined loss of EAF2 and p53 in a murine model induced prostate tumors, and concurrent knockdown of EAF2 and p53 in prostate cancer cells enhanced proliferation and migration, further suggesting that EAF2 and p53 could functionally interact in the suppression of prostate tumorigenesis. Here, RNA-seq analyses identified differentially regulated genes in response to concurrent knockdown of p53 and EAF2. Several of these genes were associated with the STAT3 signaling pathway, and this was verified by significantly increased p-STAT3 immunostaining in the Eaf2-/-p53-/- mouse prostate. STAT3 knockdown abrogated the stimulation of C4-2 cell proliferation by concurrent knockdown of EAF2 and p53. Furthermore, immunostaining of p-STAT3 was increased in human prostate cancer specimens with EAF2 downregulation and/or p53 nuclear staining. Our findings suggest that simultaneous inactivation of EAF2 and p53 can act to activate STAT3 and drive prostate tumorigenesis.