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Hematology - Immunology - Molecular Biology

Toll-Like Receptor 3 and Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling Proteins Regulate CXCR4 and CXCR7 Expression in Bone Marrow-Derived Human Multipotent Stromal Cells
Published: Friday, June 22, 2012
Author: Suzanne L. Tomchuck et al.

by Suzanne L. Tomchuck, Sarah L. Henkle, Seth B. Coffelt, Aline M. Betancourt


The use of bone marrow-derived human multipotent stromal cells (hMSC) in cell-based therapies has dramatically increased in recent years, as researchers have exploited the ability of these cells to migrate to sites of tissue injury, inflammation, and tumors. Our group established that hMSC respond to “danger” signals – by-products of damaged, infected or inflamed tissues – via activation of Toll-like receptors (TLRs). However, little is known regarding downstream signaling mediated by TLRs in hMSC.

Methodology/Principal Findings

We demonstrate that TLR3 stimulation activates a Janus kinase (JAK) 2/signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) 1 pathway, and increases expression of suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS) 1 and SOCS3 in hMSC. Our studies suggest that each of these SOCS plays a distinct role in negatively regulating TLR3 and JAK/STAT signaling. TLR3-mediated interferon regulatory factor 1 (IRF1) expression was inhibited by SOCS3 overexpression in hMSC while SOCS1 overexpression reduced STAT1 activation. Furthermore, our study is the first to demonstrate that when TLR3 is activated in hMSC, expression of CXCR4 and CXCR7 is downregulated. SOCS3 overexpression inhibited internalization of both CXCR4 and CXCR7 following TLR3 stimulation. In contrast, SOCS1 overexpression only inhibited CXCR7 internalization.


These results demonstrate that SOCS1 and SOCS3 each play a functionally distinct role in modulating TLR3, JAK/STAT, and CXCR4/CXCR7 signaling in hMSC and shed further light on the way hMSC respond to danger signals.