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Nat Med. 2005 Aug;11(8):892-8. Epub 2005 Jul 10.

Intracellular protein therapy with SOCS3 inhibits inflammation and apoptosis.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 1161 21st Avenue South, A-5321 MCN, Nashville, Tennessee 37232, USA.


Suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS) 3 attenuates proinflammatory signaling mediated by the signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) family of proteins. But acute inflammation can occur after exposure to pathogen-derived inducers staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS), or the lectin concanavalin A (ConA), suggesting that physiologic levels of SOCS3 are insufficient to stem proinflammatory signaling under pathogenic circumstances. To test this hypothesis, we developed recombinant cell-penetrating forms of SOCS3 (CP-SOCS3) for intracellular delivery to counteract SEB-, LPS- and ConA-induced inflammation. We found that CP-SOCS3 was distributed in multiple organs within 2 h and persisted for at least 8 h in leukocytes and lymphocytes. CP-SOCS3 protected animals from lethal effects of SEB and LPS by reducing production of inflammatory cytokines and attenuating liver apoptosis and hemorrhagic necrosis. It also reduced ConA-induced liver apoptosis. Thus, replenishing the intracellular stores of SOCS3 with CP-SOCS3 effectively suppresses the devastating effects of acute inflammation.

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