In vivo identification of novel STAT5 target genes

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STAT5A and STAT5B proteins belong to the family of signal transducers and activators of transcription. They are encoded by two separate genes with 91% identity in their amino acid sequences. Despite their high degree of conservation, STAT5A and STAT5B exert non-redundant functions, resulting at least in part from differences in target gene activation. To better characterize the differential contribution of STAT5A and STAT5B in gene regulation, we performed single or double knockdown of STAT5A and STAT5B using small interfering RNA. Subsequent gene expression profiling and RT-qPCR analyses of IL-3-stimulated Ba/F3-β cells led to the identification of putative novel STAT5 target genes. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays analyzing the corresponding gene loci identified unusual STAT5 binding sites compared to conventional STAT5 responsive elements. Some of the STAT5 targets identified are upregulated in several human cancers, suggesting that they might represent potential oncogenes in STAT5-associated malignancies.

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