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J Biol Chem. 2016 Sep 23;291(39):20574-87. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M116.746164. Epub 2016 Aug 9.

Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling (SOCS)1 Regulates Interleukin-4 (IL-4)-activated Insulin Receptor Substrate (IRS)-2 Tyrosine Phosphorylation in Monocytes and Macrophages via the Proteasome.

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From the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine and.
From the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine and Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205


Allergic asthma is a chronic lung disease initiated and driven by Th2 cytokines IL-4/-13. In macrophages, IL-4/-13 bind IL-4 receptors, which signal through insulin receptor substrate (IRS)-2, inducing M2 macrophage differentiation. M2 macrophages correlate with disease severity and poor lung function, although the mechanisms that regulate M2 polarization are not understood. Following IL-4 exposure, suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS)1 is highly induced in human monocytes. We found that siRNA knockdown of SOCS1 prolonged IRS-2 tyrosine phosphorylation and enhanced M2 differentiation, although siRNA knockdown of SOCS3 did not affect either. By co-immunoprecipitation, we found that SOCS1 complexes with IRS-2 at baseline, and this association increased after IL-4 stimulation. Because SOCS1 is an E3 ubiquitin ligase, we examined the effect of proteasome inhibitors on IL-4-induced IRS-2 phosphorylation. Proteasomal inhibition prolonged IRS-2 tyrosine phosphorylation, increased ubiquitination of IRS-2, and enhanced M2 gene expression. siRNA knockdown of SOCS1 inhibited ubiquitin accumulation on IRS-2, although siRNA knockdown of SOCS3 had no effect on ubiquitination of IRS-2. Monocytes from healthy and allergic individuals revealed that SOCS1 is induced by IL-4 in healthy monocytes but not allergic cells, whereas SOCS3 is highly induced in allergic monocytes. Healthy monocytes displayed greater ubiquitination of IRS-2 and lower M2 polarization than allergic monocytes in response to IL-4 stimulation. Here, we identify SOCS1 as a key negative regulator of IL-4-induced IRS-2 signaling and M2 differentiation. Our findings provide novel insight into how dysregulated expression of SOCS increases IL-4 responses in allergic monocytes, and this may represent a new therapeutic avenue for managing allergic disease.


allergy; asthma; insulin receptor substrate 2; interleukin-4; macrophage; monocyte; phosphotyrosine signaling; signal transduction; suppressor of cytokine signaling 1; ubiquination

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