Cell-Permeable Socs Proteins That Inhibit Cytokine-Induced Signaling


Scientists at Vanderbilt have developed a unique polypeptide using cell-penetrating SOCS polypeptides or SOCS sequences designed to inhibits cytokine signaling and thus prevent or treat inflammation or an inflammatory related disease such as diabetes. This strategy has been validated in NOD mice models for either induced or naturally occurring diabetes and have been efficacious.

Clinical Background

Affecting over 25.8 million people in the U.S., diabetes continues to serve as a major cause of heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and much more. Until recently, research has focused on obesity's role in diabetes. However, research now targets inflammation as a factor. It is shown that inflammation, provoked by immune cells, leads to insulin resistance in the body, which causes type II diabetes.

Inflammation in the cells can be mediated by signaling of cytokine and chemokine proteins. Suppressors of cytokine signaling (SOCS) can limit the magnitude and/or duration of an inflammatory response. Although classically thought of as a treatment for inflammation, given its role in mediating chronic tissue injury in inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and other autoimmune diseases, the therapeutic targeting of SOCS for additional diseases has garnered more attention as of late, particularly its role in both type I and type II diabetes.


• Provides a strategy for of treating inflammation or preventing inflammation from recurring.

• Provides an isolated polypeptide comprising a SOCS sequence that can be administered as a complex with a membrane translocating motif, which can be imported into any selected cell as a biologically active molecule.

• Provides compositions that can be administered in various ways: intravenously, orally, topically, by injection, and by inhalant.

• Provides compositions that can be made by nucleic acid synthesis or peptide synthesis.

Intellectual Property Status

U.S. Patent Application 10/589,726 and Australian Issued Patent 2005220874. We are seeking either a licensing partner and/or a sponsored research agreement for further development.

Jack HawigerDaewoong Jo
Licensing manager: 
Janis Elsner

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