The discovery of the Janus kinase (JAK)-signal transducer and activator of transcripton (STAT) signaling pathway, a landmark in cell biology, provided a simple mechanism for gene regulation that dramatically advanced our understanding of the action of hormones, interferons, colony-stimulating factors, and interleukins. As we learn more about the complexities of immune responses, new insights into the functions of this pathway continue to be revealed, aided by technology that permits genome-wide views. As we celebrate the 20(th) anniversary of the discovery of this paradigm in cell signaling, it is particularly edifying to see how this knowledge has rapidly been translated to human immune disease. Not only have genome-wide association studies demonstrated that this pathway is highly relevant to human autoimmunity, but targeting JAKs is now a reality in immune-mediated disease.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.