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Critical Reviews™ in Immunology

Impact factor: 3.857

ISSN Print: 1040-8401
ISSN Online: 2162-6472

Critical Reviews™ in Immunology

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevImmunol.v24.i2.10
24 pages

Regulation of Lymphoid Cell Apoptosis by Jaks and Stats

Zsuzsanna S. Nagy
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Department of Integrative Biology and Pharmacology, MSB Rm 4.218, Houston, TX 77030
Jeremy Ross
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Department of Integrative Biology and Pharmacology, MSB Rm 4.218, Houston, TX 77030
Hanyin Cheng
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Department of Integrative Biology and Pharmacology, MSB Rm 4.218, Houston, TX 77030
Stanislaw M. Stepkowski
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Department of Surgery, Division of Organ Transplantation, MSB Rm 4.218, Houston, TX 77030
Robert A. Kirken
University of Texas—Houston, Department of Integrative Biology and Pharmacology, MSB Rm 4.218, Houston, TX 77030

ABSTRACT

Regulation of T- and B-lymphocyte survival and death is crucial for maintaining immune homeostasis. Unresponsiveness to death signals can result in lymphoproliferative disorders including cancer and autoimmunity, whereas lymphocytes hypersensitive to such signals can be manifested as immunodeficiencies. Often within these cells, cytokines and their receptors regulate the critical balance between life and death. It is becoming ever more apparent that within these effector cascades, Janus tyrosine kinases (Jak) and signal transducers and activators of transcription (Stat) act as key regulatory components. Invaluable knowledge about Jaks and Stats has arisen from mice made genetically deficient in these molecules, tumor models, and proteomics/genomics, which has begun to define their role in survival versus apoptosis. These findings have also suggested how Jaks and Stats might be manipulated for therapeutic intervention in lymphoid-derived diseases. This review seeks to focus on the role of Jak tyrosine kinases and Stat transcription factors in mediating the lymphocyte life cycle.