What is the role of janus kinases (JAKs) in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?

Updated: Feb 07, 2020
  • Author: Howard R Smith, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

Janus kinases (JAKs) consist of a group of intracellular tyrosine kinases that transmit signals from cytokine or growth factor–receptor interactions on the cellular membrane to influence cellular processes of hematopoiesis and immune cell function. Within the signaling pathway, JAKs phosphorylate and activate signal transducers and activators of transcription (STATs), which modulate intracellular activity, including gene expression.

JAK inhibitors modulate the signaling pathway at the point of JAKs, preventing the phosphorylation and activation of STATs. These signals maintain the inflammatory condition in RA. Inhibition of JAKs reduces production of and modulates proinflammatory cytokines central to RA.


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