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Journal of Skin Cancer
Volume 2013, Article ID 684050, 10 pages
Review Article

Role of Stat3 in Skin Carcinogenesis: Insights Gained from Relevant Mouse Models

1Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology, College of Pharmacy, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78723, USA
2Department of Nutritional Sciences, College of Natural Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78723, USA
3Dell Pediatric Research Institute, The University of Texas at Austin, 1400 Barbara Jordan Boulevard, Austin, TX 78723, USA

Received 14 January 2013; Accepted 20 February 2013

Academic Editor: Ajit K. Verma

Copyright © 2013 Everardo Macias et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (Stat3) is a cytoplasmic protein that is activated in response to cytokines and growth factors and acts as a transcription factor. Stat3 plays critical roles in various biological activities including cell proliferation, migration, and survival. Studies using keratinocyte-specific Stat3-deficient mice have revealed that Stat3 plays an important role in skin homeostasis including keratinocyte migration, wound healing, and hair follicle growth. Use of both constitutive and inducible keratinocyte-specific Stat3-deficient mouse models has demonstrated that Stat3 is required for both the initiation and promotion stages of multistage skin carcinogenesis. Further studies using a transgenic mouse model with a gain of function mutant of Stat3 (Stat3C) expressed in the basal layer of the epidermis revealed a novel role for Stat3 in skin tumor progression. Studies using similar Stat3-deficient and gain-of-function mouse models have indicated its similar roles in ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation-mediated skin carcinogenesis. This paper summarizes the use of these various mouse models for studying the role and underlying mechanisms for the function of Stat3 in skin carcinogenesis. Given its significant role throughout the skin carcinogenesis process, Stat3 is an attractive target for skin cancer prevention and treatment.