Cytokines are key modulators of immunity. Most cytokines use the Janus kinase and signal transducers and activators of transcription (JAK-STAT) pathway to promote gene transcriptional regulation, but their signals must be attenuated by multiple mechanisms. These include the suppressors of cytokine signaling (SOCS) family of proteins, which represent a main negative regulation mechanism for the JAK-STAT pathway. Cytokine-inducible Src homology 2 (SH2)-containing protein (CIS), SOCS1, and SOCS3 proteins regulate cytokine signals that control the polarization of CD4+ T cells and the maturation of CD8+ T cells. SOCS proteins also regulate innate immune cells and are involved in tumorigenesis. This review summarizes recent progress on CIS, SOCS1, and SOCS3 in T cells and tumor immunity.
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