The immune response is regulated by the concerted action of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines. The deregulation of this process causes immunological disorders like allergic and autoimmune diseases. The Janus Kinase (JAK) - Signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) pathway is one major signaling pathway converting the cytokine signal into gene expression programs regulating the proliferation and differentiation of the immune cells. Several members of the STAT protein family in particular STAT1, STAT2, STAT3, STAT4 and STAT6 act as transcription factors in modulating pro- and anti-inflammatory responses. Here we review the evidence for the involvement of the different STAT proteins in inflammation, autoimmune and allergic diseases. We discuss novel approaches to interfere with the function of these signaling transcription factors for therapeutic purpose.
Keywords: inflammation, jak, stat, socs, signaling, pathway, cytokine, autoimmunity
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