Publication Date


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Academic Program

Cell Biology


Microbiology and Physiological Systems

First Thesis Advisor

H. M. Goodman, Ph.D.


Immediate-Early Proteins, Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling Proteins, Human Growth Hormone, Human Growth Hormone, Cytokines


CIS/SOCS (cytokine-inducible SH2 protein/suppressor of cytokine signaling) are a family of proteins that are thought to act as negative regulators of signaling by erythropoetin, interleukin-6 and other cytokines whose receptors are related to the growth hormone receptor (GHR), and like growth hormone (GH), signal through the JAK/STAT pathway. We examined the possibility that CIS/SOCS proteins may also be involved in GH signaling, in particular, in termination of the transient insulin-like effects of GH. mRNAs for CIS, SOCS3, and to a lesser extent SOCS1 were detectable by Northern blot analysis of rat adipocyte total RNA, and the expression of CIS and SOCS3 was markedly increased 30 min after incubation with 500 ng/ml hGH. Both CIS and SOCS3 were detected in adipocyte extracts by immunoprecipitation and immunoblotting with their corresponding antisera. GH stimulated the tyrosine phosphorylation of a 120 kDa protein (p120) that was co-precipitated from adipocyte extracts along with αCIS and detected in Western blots with phospho-tyrosine antibodies. However, no tyrosine phosphorylated proteins in these cell extracts were immunoprecipitated with antibodies to CIS3/SOCS3. p120 was later identified as the GHR based on the observations that two GHR antibodies recognized p120 in scale-up experiments and that p120 and the GHR share several characteristics, including their molecular weights, tyrosine phosphorylation upon GH stimulation, interaction with CIS, similar extent of glycosylation as judged by electrophoretic mobility shift after Endo F digestion, comparable mobility shifts upon thrombin digestion, and N-terminal histidine-tagging. The findings, however, do not rule out the possibility that there might be other tyrosine phosphorylated 120 kDa protein(s) that interact with CIS and contribute to the p120 signal, as well as the GHR.

Further studies of the association of CIS with the GHR revealed that CIS might selectively interact with multiply tyrosine phosphorylated forms of the GHR, and these tyrosines are likely located near the carboxyl end of the GHR. Overexpression of CIS partially inhibited GH-induced STAT5 phosphorylation in CHO cells. Studies in freshly isolated and GH-deprived (sensitive) adipocytes revealed that the abundance of CIS does not correlate with the termination of the insulin-like effects of GH or the emergence of refractoriness. Neither the association of CIS with the GHR nor the tyrosine phosphorylation status of the GHR, JAK2 and STAT5 appear responsible for refractoriness in adipocytes. These data imply that some negative regulators other than CIS might contribute to the termination of GH-induced insulin-like effects in adipocytes.



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