SOCS proteins in development and disease
journal contributionposted on 2013-01-01, 00:00 authored by Monique Trengove, Alister WardAlister Ward
Cytokine and growth factor signaling mediates essential roles in the differentiation, proliferation, survival and function of a number of cell lineages. This is achieved via specific receptors located on the surface of target cells, with ligand binding activating key intracellular signal transduction cascades to mediate the requisite cellular outcome. Effective resolution of receptor signaling is also essential, with excessive signaling having the potential for pathological consequences. The Suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS) family of proteins represent one important mechanism to extinguish cytokine and growth factor receptor signaling. There are 8 SOCS proteins in mammals; SOCS1-7 and the alternatively named Cytokine-inducible SH2-containing protein (CISH). SOCS1-3 and CISH are predominantly associated with the regulation of cytokine receptor signaling, while SOCS4-7 are more commonly involved in the control of Receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) signaling. Individual SOCS proteins are typically induced by specific cytokines and growth factors, thereby generating a negative feedback loop. As a consequence of their regulatory properties, SOCS proteins have important functions in development and homeostasis, with increasing recognition of their role in disease, particularly their tumor suppressor and anti-inflammatory functions. This review provides a synthesis of our current understanding of the SOCS family, with an emphasis on their immune and hematopoietic roles.