Suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 regulates CD8 T-cell proliferation by inhibition of interleukins 6 and 27 Academic Article uri icon


  • Suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS) proteins regulate the intensity and duration of cytokine responses. SOCS3 is expressed in peripheral T cells, and recent reports have suggested that overexpression of SOCS3 modulates antigen- and/or costimulation-induced T-cell activation. To study the role of SOCS3 in the regulation of T-cell activation, we used a conditional gene-targeting strategy to generate mice that lack SOCS3 in T/natural killer T cells (Socs3ΔLck/ΔLck mice). SOCS3-deficient CD8 T cells showed greater proliferation than wild-type cells in response to T-cell receptor (TCR) ligation despite normal activation of signaling pathways downstream from TCR or CD28 receptors. Signaling in response to the gp130 cytokines interleukin (IL)–6 and IL-27 was prolonged in Socs3ΔLck/ΔLck T cells, and T cells from gp130Y757F/Y757F mice, in which the SOCS3-binding site on gp130 is ablated, showed a striking similarity to SOCS3-deficient CD8 T cells. Although the proliferative defect of Socs3ΔLck/ΔLck T cells was not rescued in the absence of IL-6, suppression of IL-27 signaling was found to substantially reduce anti-CD3–induced proliferation. We conclude that enhanced responses to TCR ligation by SOCS3-deficient CD8 T cells are not caused by aberrant TCR-signaling pathways but, rather, that increased IL-27 signaling drives unregulated proliferation in the absence of SOCS3.


  • Brender, Christine
  • Tannahill, Gillian M
  • Jenkins, Brendan J
  • Fletcher, Joel
  • Columbus, Ruth
  • Saris, Christiaan JM
  • Ernst, Matthias
  • Nicola, Nicos A
  • Hilton, Douglas J
  • Alexander, Warren S
  • Starr, Robyn

publication date

  • October 1, 2007

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