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Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2004 Dec;8(6):613-29.

Janus kinase 3: a novel target for selective transplant immunosupression.

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  • 1The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Division of Immunology and Organ Transplantation, 6431 Fannin Street, Suite 6.240, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Existing immunosuppressants inhibit lymphocyte activation and T cell cytokine signal transduction pathways, reducing the rate of acute rejection episodes to < 10%. However, the widespread tissue distribution of their molecular targets engenders pleiotropic toxicities. One strategy to address this problem seeks to identify compounds that selectively inhibit a target restricted in distribution to the lymphoid system. Janus kinase (Jak) 3 is such a molecule; it mediates signal transduction via the gamma common chain of lymphokine surface receptors. Disruption of this lymphoid-restricted enzyme would not be predicted to produce collateral damage in other organ systems. Development of selective Jak3 inhibitors has been difficult due to crossreactivity with its homologue, Jak2. In contrast to all other putative antagonists, which are discussed in detail herein, one Jak3 inhibitor, NC1153, shows at least 40-fold greater selective inhibition for Jak3 than for Jak2, is robustly synergistic with calcineurin antagonists, and, either alone or in combination with cyclosporin, produces no adverse effects in rodents preconditioned to be at heightened risk for nephrotoxicity, bone marrow suppression, or altered lipid metabolism.

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