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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Identification of critical residues required for suppressor of cytokine signaling-specific regulation of interleukin-4 signaling.

Suppressor of cytokine signaling ( SOCS) family proteins were originally identified as cytokine-induced negative regulators of cytokine signaling. We show that SOCS-1 and SOCS-3 inhibit interleukin (IL)-4-dependent signal transducer and activator of transcription 6 (Stat6) activation of and subsequent gene induction. By contrast, SOCS-2 and cytokine-inducible Src homology domain 2 (SH2)-containing protein up-regulate these processes. IL-4 initiates transmembrane signaling through two types of receptor complexes comprising the IL-4Ralpha subunit and the associated Janus kinase 1 (Jak1) as common essential components. We demonstrate that both SOCS-1- and SOCS-3- mediated down-regulation of IL-4 signaling is due to an inhibition of the receptor associated Jak1 activity. The SOCS proteins contain an amino-terminal region of variable length and primary structure, a central SH2 domain, and a carboxyl-terminal conserved motif termed SOCS-box. We show that the SH2 domains of SOCS-2, SOCS-3, and cytokine-inducible SH2-containing protein are functionally redundant in regulating the IL-4-dependent Jak-Stat signaling. The Pre-SH2 domains of SOCS-2 and SOCS-3 confer the specificity of their regulatory function. Importantly, the Pre-SH2 domain of SOCS-3 alone can inhibit IL-4 signaling. The SH2-proximal 25 amino acids of SOCS-3 are sufficient for this inhibition, and the Thr residue at position 24 and the Phe residue at position 25 are individually indispensable for its inhibitory function. Thus, the Thr-Phe motif in the Pre-SH2 domain plays a critical role in SOCS-3- mediated inhibition of the IL-4-dependent Jak-Stat signaling, likely by regulating the mode of SOCS-Jak interaction.[1]


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