Suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3) regulates the proinflammatory cytokine signaling mediated by the JAK/STAT signaling pathway. SOCS3 is rapidly induced and then targeted to the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway via a mechanism that requires the C-terminal SOCS box. Due to its rapid turnover, the intracellular stores of SOCS3 seem insufficient to control acute or protracted inflammatory diseases. Previously, we developed an intracellular protein therapy that uses a recombinant cell-penetrating form of SOCS3 (CP-SOCS3) to inhibit the JAK/STAT pathway and prevent cytokine-mediated lethal inflammation and apoptosis of the liver (Jo, D., Liu, D., Yao, S., Collins, R. D., and Hawiger, J. (2005) Nat. Med. 11, 892-898). The potent anti-inflammatory and cytoprotective activity of CP-SOCS3 prompted us to analyze its intracellular turnover, as compared with that of endogenous SOCS3 protein induced in macrophages by the proinflammatory agonists, interferon-gamma and lipopolysaccharide. We found that the half-life (t(1/2)) of endogenous SOCS3 is 0.7 h in activated macrophages, compared with a t(1/2) of 6.2 h for recombinant CP-SOCS3. Deletion of the SOCS box in CP-SOCS3 renders it more resistant to proteasomal degradation, extending its t(1/2) to 29 h. Consequently, this SOCS box-deleted form of CP-SOCS3 displays persistent inhibitory activity for 24 h toward interferon-gamma- and lipopolysaccharide-induced cytokine and chemokine production. Compared with the wild-type suppressor, this gain-of-function CP-SOCS3 mutant provides a longer acting inhibitor of cytokine signaling, a feature that offers a clear advantage for the intracellular delivery of proteins to treat acute or protracted inflammatory diseases.