Abstract

IL-6 is reported to be the main upstream activator, instead of the downstream target of JAK2/STAT3. This study is intended to explore the correlation of IL-6 and JAK2/STAT3 signaling pathway with clinicopathological features and prognosis in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). First, NPC tissues and normal nasopharyngeal epithelial tissues were obtained from 117 NPC patients. Next, we detected expression levels of IL-6 in serum and those of STAT3, p-STAT3, JAK2, p-JAK2 and CyclinD1 in tissues. A follow-up was conducted in all the patients and the survival was analyzed. To verify the correlation of IL-6 and JAK2/STAT3 pathway, CNE-1 and SUNE1 NPC cells were interpreted with IL-6 and JAK2/STAT3 signaling pathway inhibitor AG490 to detect cell viability, migration and invasion. We observed thatIL-6 increased in serum of NPC patients. The expressions of IL-6, STAT3, p-STAT3, JAK2, p-JAK2 and CyclinD1 in NPC tissues were higher and correlated with TNM stage and lymph node metastasis (LNM). Survival rates were reduced in patients with positive expressions of IL-6, STAT3, p-STAT3, JAK2, p-JAK2 and CyclinD1. LNM and positive expressions of IL-6 and p-STAT3 were risk factors for poor prognosis of NPC. Besides, recombinant human IL-6 promoted cell proliferation, invasion and migration while AG490 inhibited cell proliferation, invasion and migration in CNE-1 and SUNE1 NPC cells. The results demonstrated that increased IL-6 expression and the activated JAK2/STAT3 signaling pathway had effects on prognosis and reduced the survival time in NPC patients, which provide a potential target for the treatment of NPC.