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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005 Jun 3;331(2):543-8.

SOCS-1 inhibits expression of the antiviral proteins 2',5'-OAS and MxA induced by the novel interferon-lambdas IL-28A and IL-29.

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Department of Medicine II, University-Hospital Munich-Grosshadern, University of Munich, Germany.


Recently, we have shown that SOCS-1/3 overexpression in hepatic cells abrogates signaling of type I interferons (IFN) which may contribute to the frequently observed IFN resistance of hepatitis C virus (HCV). IFN-lambdas (IL-28A/B and IL-29), a novel group of IFNs, also efficiently inhibit HCV replication in vitro with potentially less hematopoietic side effects than IFN-alpha because of limited receptor expression in hematopoietic cells. To further evaluate the potential of IFN-lambdas in chronic viral hepatitis, we examined the influence of SOCS protein expression on IFN-lambda signaling. First, we show that hepatic cell lines express the IFN-lambda receptor complex consisting of IFN-lambdaR1 (IL-28R1) and IL-10R2. Whereas in mock-transfected HepG2 cells, IL-28A and IL-29 induced STAT1 and STAT3 phosphorylation, overexpression of SOCS-1 completely abrogated IL-28A and IL-29-induced STAT1/3 phosphorylation. Similarly, IL-28A and IL-29 induced mRNA expression of the antiviral proteins 2',5'-OAS and MxA was abolished by overexpression of SOCS-1. In conclusion, we assume that despite antiviral properties of IFN-lambdas, their efficacy as antiviral agents may have similar limitations as IFN-alpha due to inhibition by SOCS proteins.

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