Role of the Ferroptosis-Related Gene SOCS1 in Tuberculosis

tuberculosis lungs
What is the role of ferroptosis in tuberculosis infection, especially with respect to cell death and tissue necrosis — and what drives ferroptosis in TB?

The ferroptosis-related gene SOCS1 may play a critical role in tuberculosis (TB) infection-mediated bone destruction, and also may be involved in the pathogenesis and progression of the disease. In a recent study, investigators sought to identify differentially expressed genes between patients with TB and healthy controls (HCs). Results of the current study, which was conducted in China, were published in the journal Tuberculosis.

Using 2 external validation Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) datasets, the researchers. identified suppressor of cytokine signaling 1 (SOCS1) as the ferroptosis-related differentially expressed gene that may be implicated in therapeutic efficacy and drug resistance among individuals with TB. They also predicted involvement of SOCS1 in M1-macrophage polarization in patients with TB, and as a biomarker for TB diagnosis and the monitoring of treatment. They downloaded the GSE83456, GSE144127, GSE28623, GSE31348, GSE62147, GSE15539, GSE147689, and GSE147960 from the GEO database.

Results of the study showed that SOCS1 was recognized as the only ferroptosis-related differentially expressed gene. Upregulation of SOCS1 was observed in patients with TB only and was not observed in patients without TB. Significant downregulation in expression of SOCS1 in the GSE62147 was reported after treatment with standard anti-TB therapy (P <.001). Further, in the GSE31348, expression of SOCS1 was downregulated significantly relative to the duration of anti-TB treatment (P <.01), with a significant decrease in SOCS1 expression observed following 4 weeks of anti-TB therapy.

Expression of SOCS1 was lower among patients with extensive drug-resistant TB than in those with drug-sensitive TB in the GSE15539 (P =.147). Those patients with non–multiple drug-resistant (MDR) TB showed a significantly higher SOCS1 expression compared with those with MDR TB in the GSE147689 (P <.001). Higher SOCS1 expression was also reported in the GSE147960 in patients with MDR TB (P =.28).

The investigators concluded that the findings from the present study demonstrate that SOCS1 can be nurtured as a biomarker for the diagnosis and treatment of TB, and may promote macrophage polarization and facilitate bone and disc destruction in patients with the infection.


Liang T, Chen J, Xu G, et al. Ferroptosis-related gene SOCS1, a marker for tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment, involves in macrophage polarization and facilitates bone destruction in tuberculosis. Tuberculosis (Edinb). 2021;132:102140. doi:10.1016/