Research Papers:

Reduction of RKIP expression promotes nasopharyngeal carcinoma invasion and metastasis by activating Stat3 signaling

Qiu-Yan He, Hong-Mei Yi, Hong Yi, Ta Xiao, Jia-Quan Qu, Li Yuan, Jin-Feng Zhu, Jiao-Yang Li, Yuan-Yuan Wang, Li-Na Li, Juan Feng, Shan-Shan Lu and Zhi-Qiang Xiao _

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:16422-16436. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.3847

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Qiu-Yan He1,2, Hong-Mei Yi1,2, Hong Yi1,2, Ta Xiao1,2, Jia-Quan Qu1,2, Li Yuan1,2, Jin-Feng Zhu1,2, Jiao-Yang Li1,2, Yuan-Yuan Wang1,2, Li-Na Li1,2, Juan Feng1,2, Shan-Shan Lu1,2 and Zhi-Qiang Xiao1,2

1 Research Center of Carcinogenesis and Targeted Therapy, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China

2 The Higher Educational Key Laboratory for Cancer Proteomics and Translational Medicine of Hunan Province, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China

Correspondence to:

Zhi-Qiang Xiao, email:

Keywords: nasopharyngeal carcinoma; metastasis; RKIP; Stat3; metastatic suppressor

Received: February 21, 2015 Accepted: March 20, 2015 Published: April 15, 2015


The role and underlying mechanism of Raf kinase inhibitory protein (RKIP) in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) metastasis remain unclear. Here, we showed that RKIP was downregulated in the NPC with high metastatic potentials, and its decrement correlated with NPC metastasis and poor patient survival, and was an independent predictor for reduced overall survival. With a combination of loss-of-function and gain-of-function approaches, we observed that high expression of RKIP reduced invasion, metastasis and epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) marker alternations of NPC cells. We further showed that RKIP overexpression attenuated while RKIP knockdown enhanced Stat3 phosphorylation and activation in NPC cells; RKIP reduced Stat3 phosphorylation through interacting with Stat3; Stattic attenuated NPC cell migration, invasion and EMT marker alternations induced by RKIP knockdown, whereas Stat3 overexpression restored NPC cell migration, invasion and EMT marker alternations reduced by RKIP overexpression. In addition, there was an inverse correlation between RKIP and phospho-Stat3 expression in the NPC tissues and xenograft metastases. Our data demonstrate that RKIP is a metastatic suppressor and predictor for metastasis and prognosis in NPC, and RKIP downregulation promotes NPC invasion, metastasis and EMT by activating Stat3 signaling, suggesting that RKIP/Stat3 signaling could be used as a therapeutic target for NPC metastasis.

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