Silibinin is a direct inhibitor of STAT3. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Silibinin is a direct inhibitor of STAT3.
Food Chem Toxicol. 2018 Apr 14 ;116(Pt B):161-172. Epub 2018 Apr 14. PMID: 29660364
We herein combined experimental and computational efforts to delineate the mechanism of action through which the flavonolignan silibinin targets STAT3. Silibinin reduced IL-6 inducible, constitutive, and acquired feedback activation of STAT3 at tyrosine 705 (Y705). Silibinin attenuated the inducible phospho-activation of Y705 in GFP-STAT3 genetic fusions without drastically altering the kinase activity of the STAT3 upstream kinases JAK1 and JAK2. A comparative computational study based on docking and molecular dynamics simulation over 14 different STAT3 inhibitors (STAT3i) predicted that silibinin could directly bind with high affinity to both the Src homology-2 (SH2) domain and the DNA-binding domain (DBD) of STAT3. Silibinin partially overlapped with the cavity occupied by other STAT3i in the SH2 domain to indirectly prevent Y705 phosphorylation, yet showing a unique binding mode. Moreover, silibinin was the only STAT3i predicted to establish direct interactions with DNA in its targeting to the STAT3 DBD. The prevention of STAT3 nuclear translocation, the blockade of the binding of activated STAT3 to its consensus DNA sequence, and the suppression of STAT3-directed transcriptional activity confirmed silibinin as a direct STAT3i. The unique characteristics of silibinin as a bimodal SH2- and DBD-targeting STAT3i make silibinin a promising lead for designing new, more effective STAT3i.