Constitutive activation of the Janus kinase (JAK)/signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) pathway occurs commonly in cancer cells and endothelial cells, and contributes to angiogenesis. Wogonin is a compound with many biologically relevant properties. We previously reported that wogonin blocked IL-6-induced angiogenesis through suppression of VEGF expression, an important regulator of angiogenesis. However, the pathway involved in the suppressive effect of wogonin on IL-6-induced VEGF has not been completely clarified. This study aimed to investigate the molecular mechanisms participating in the suppression of wogonin on IL-6-induced VEGF in vitro, focusing on IL-6R/JAK1/STAT3/VEGF pathway. Both STAT3 siRNA and wogonin treatment resulted in an abolition of the expression of VEGF. Moreover, our data revealed that wogonin treatment after STAT3 knock-down did not further suppress VEGF expression. The addition of IL-6R siRNA or wogonin resulted in a decrease in the expression level of the phosphorylated JAK1 protein. Furthermore, wogonin significantly decreased the amount of phosphorylated STAT3. Finally, by EMSA, wogonin suppressed IL-6-induced STAT3 binding activity in a concentration- dependent manner. Taken together, our results show that wogonin suppresses IL-6-induced VEGF by modulating the IL-6R/JAK1/STAT3 signaling pathway. Based on this study, we suggest that wogonin may provide a new potential therapeutic option for treatment of IL-6-related pathological angiogenesis.
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