Type III Interferon Induces Distinct SOCS1 Expression Pattern that Contributes to Delayed but Prolonged Activation of Jak/STAT Signaling Pathway: Implications for Treatment Non-Response in HCV Patients.

PloS one

PubMedID: 26193702

Liu B, Chen S, Guan Y, Chen L. Type III Interferon Induces Distinct SOCS1 Expression Pattern that Contributes to Delayed but Prolonged Activation of Jak/STAT Signaling Pathway: Implications for Treatment Non-Response in HCV Patients. PLoS ONE. 2015;10(7):e0133800.
Suppressor of cytokine signaling 1 (SOCS1) has long been thought to block type I interferon signaling. However, IFN-?, a type III IFN with limited receptor expression in hepatic cells, efficiently inhibits HCV (Hepatitis C virus) replication in vivo with potentially less side effects than IFN-a. Previous studies demonstrated that type I and type III activated Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription (Jak/STAT) signaling pathway differently, with delayed but prolonged activation by IFN-? stimulation compared to IFNa/ß. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this observation is not well understood. Here, we found that there are distinct differences in SOCS1 expression patterns in Huh-7. 5. 1 cells following stimulation with IFN-a and IFN-?. IFN-? induced a faster but shorter expression of SOCS1. Furthermore, we confirmed that SOCS1 over-expression abrogates anti-HCV effect of both IFN-a and IFN-?, leading to increased HCV RNA replication in both HCV replicon cells and JFH1 HCV culture system. In line with this, SOCS1 over-expression inhibited STAT1 phosphorylation, attenuated IFN-stimulated response elements (ISRE) reporter activity, and blocked IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs) expression. Finally, we measured SOCS1 mRNA expression levels in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) with or without IFN-a treatment from 48 chronic hepatitis C patients and we found the baseline SOCS1 expression levels are higher in treatment non-responders than in responders before IFN-a treatment. Taken together, SOCS1 acts as a suppressor for both type I and type III IFNs and is negatively associated with sustained virological response (SVR) to IFN-based therapy in patients with HCV. More importantly, faster but shorter induction of SOCS1 by IFN-? may contribute to delayed but prolonged activation of IFN signaling and ISG expression kinetics by type III IFN.