Suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS) proteins regulate several pathways, including cytokine and insulin signaling. Though basal expression is low, SOCS expression is boosted in response to growth signals, cytokines, and hormones. Uncontrolled cytokine stimulation can result in inflammation or aberrant immune activation, which is why SOCS plays an important role in negatively regulating cytokine responses. SOCS directly inhibits JAK to stop STAT transcription factors from activating expression of cytokines like IL-6, G-CSF, and IFNs. One way SOCS inhibits insulin signaling is by facilitating the ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation of insulin receptor substrate (IRS). Elevated SOCS expression has been associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
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