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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2004 Jul 30;320(3):1007-14.

SOCS-1 and SOCS-3 inhibit IFN-alpha-induced expression of the antiviral proteins 2,5-OAS and MxA.

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Department of Internal Medicine II, Grosshadern, Klinikum der Ludwig, Maximilians-Universität, Munich 81377, Germany.


Although the use of IFN-alpha in combination with ribavirin has improved the treatment efficacy of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, 20-50% of patients still fail to eradicate the virus depending on the HCV genotype. Recently, overexpression of HCV core protein has been shown to inhibit IFN signaling and induce SOCS-3 expression. Aim of this study was to examine the putative role of SOCS proteins in IFN resistance. By Western blot analysis, a 4-fold induction of STAT-1/3 phosphorylation by IFN-alpha was observed in mock-transfected HepG2 clones. In contrast, IFN-induced STAT-1/3 phosphorylation was considerably downregulated by SOCS-1/3 overexpression. In mock-transfected cells, IFN-alpha induced 2',5'-OAS and myxovirus resistance A (MxA) promoter activity 40- to 80-fold and 10- to 35-fold, respectively, and this effect was abrogated in SOCS-1/3 overexpressing cells. As detected by Northern blot technique, IFN-alpha potently induced 2',5'-OAS and MxA mRNA expression in the control clones. Overexpression of SOCS-1 completely abolished both 2',5'-OAS and MxA mRNA expression, whereas SOCS-3 mainly inhibited 2',5'-OAS mRNA expression. Our results demonstrate that SOCS-1 and SOCS-3 proteins inhibit IFN-alpha-induced activation of the Jak-STAT pathway and expression of the antiviral proteins 2',5'-OAS and MxA. These data suggest a potential role of SOCS proteins in IFN resistance during antiviral treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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