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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2010, Article ID 470468, 7 pages
Review Article

SOCS1, a Negative Regulator of Cytokine Signals and TLR Responses, in Human Liver Diseases

Laboratory for Immune Signal, National Institute of Biomedical Innovation, 7-6-8 Saitoasagi, Ibaraki, Osaka 567-0085, Japan

Received 22 April 2010; Accepted 10 August 2010

Academic Editor: Ekihiro Seki

Copyright © 2010 Minoru Fujimoto and Tetsuji Naka. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling pathways are strictly coordinated by several mechanisms to regulate adequate innate immune responses. Recent lines of evidence indicate that the suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS) family proteins, originally identified as negative-feedback regulators in cytokine signaling, are involved in the regulation of TLR-mediated immune responses. SOCS1, a member of SOCS family, is strongly induced upon TLR stimulation. Cells lacking SOCS1 are hyperresponsive to TLR stimulation. Thus, SOCS1 is an important regulator for both cytokine and TLR-induced responses. As an immune organ, the liver contains various types of immune cells such as T cells, NK cells, NKT cells, and Kupffer cells and is continuously challenged with gut-derived bacterial and dietary antigens. SOCS1 may be implicated in pathophysiology of the liver. The studies using SOCS1-deficient mice revealed that endogenous SOCS1 is critical for the prevention of liver diseases such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, and cancers. Recent studies on humans suggest that SOCS1 is involved in the development of various liver disorders in humans. Thus, SOCS1 and other SOCS proteins are potential targets for the therapy of human liver diseases.