Working your SOCS off: The role of ASB10 and protein degradation pathways in glaucoma

Kate E. Keller, Mary K. Wirtz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Evidence is accumulating to suggest that mutations in the Ankyrin and SOCS Box-containing protein-10 (ASB10) gene are associated with glaucoma. Since its identification in a large Oregon family with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), ASB10 variants have been associated with disease in US, German and Pakistani cohorts. ASB10 is a member of the ASB family of proteins, which have a common structure including a unique N-terminus, a variable number of central ankyrin (ANK) repeat domains and a suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS) box at the C-terminus. Mutations in ASB10 are distributed throughout the entire length of the gene including the two alternatively spliced variants of exon 1. A homozygous mutation in a Pakistani individual with POAG, which lies in the center of the SOCS box, is associated with a particularly severe form of the disease. Like other SOCS box-containing proteins, ASB10 functions in ubiquitin-mediated degradation pathways. The ANK repeats bind to proteins destined for degradation. The SOCS box recruits ubiquitin ligase proteins to form a complex to transfer ubiquitin to a substrate bound to the ANK repeats. The ubiquitin-tagged protein then enters either the proteasomal degradation pathway or the autophagic-lysosomal pathway. The choice of pathway appears to be dependent on which lysine residues are used to build polyubiquitin chains. However, these reciprocal pathways work in tandem to degrade proteins because inhibition of one pathway increases degradation via the other pathway. In this publication, we will review the literature that supports identification of ASB10 as a glaucoma-associated gene and the current knowledge of the function of the ASB10 protein. In addition, we present new data that indicates ASB10 expression is up-regulated by the inflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-1α. Finally, we will describe the emerging role of other SOCS box-containing proteins in protein degradation pathways in ocular cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-160
Number of pages7
JournalExperimental Eye Research
StatePublished - May 1 2017


  • ASB10
  • Autophagy
  • Glaucoma
  • Protein degradation
  • Retinal ganglion cells
  • SOCS proteins
  • Ubiquitin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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