Cytokines are pleiotropic signaling molecules that execute an essential role in cell-to-cell communication through binding to cell surface receptors. Receptor binding activates intracellular signaling cascades in the target cell that bring about a wide range of cellular responses, including induction of cell proliferation, migration, differentiation, and apoptosis. The Janus kinase and transducers and activators of transcription (JAK/STAT) signaling pathways are activated upon cytokines and growth factors binding with their corresponding receptors. The SOCS family of proteins has emerged as a key regulator of cytokine signaling, and SOCS insufficiency leads to constitutive activation of JAK/STAT signaling and oncogenic transformation. Dysregulation of SOCS expression is linked to various solid tumors with invasive properties. However, the roles of SOCS in hematological malignancies, such as leukemia, are less clear. In this review, we discuss the recent advances pertaining to SOCS dysregulation in leukemia development and progression. We also highlight the roles of specific SOCS in immune cells within the tumor microenvironment and their possible involvement in anti-tumor immunity. Finally, we discuss the epigenetic, genetic, and post-transcriptional modifications of SOCS genes during tumorigenesis, with an emphasis on leukemia.
Keewan E, Matlawska-Wasowska K. The Emerging Role of Suppressors of Cytokine Signaling (SOCS) in the Development and Progression of Leukemia. Cancers (Basel). 2021 Aug 8;13(16):4000. doi: 10.3390/cancers13164000. PMID: 34439155; PMCID: PMC8393695.