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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A JAK1/JAK2 chimera can sustain alpha and gamma interferon responses.

Cell lines that are mutated in interferon (IFN) responses have been critical in establishing an essential role for the JAK family of nonreceptor tyrosine kinases in interferon signalling. Mutant gamma1A cells have previously been shown to be complemented by overexpression of JAK2. Here, it is shown that these cells carry a defect in, and can also be complemented by, the beta-subunit of the IFN-gamma receptor, consistent with the hypothesis that the mutation in these cells affects JAK2-receptor association. In contrast, mutant gamma2A cells lack detectable JAK2 mRNA and protein. By using gamma2A cells, the role of various domains and conserved tyrosine residues of JAK2 in IFN-gamma signalling was examined. Individual mutation of six conserved tyrosine residues, mutation of a potential phosphatase binding site, or mutation of the arginine residue in the proposed SH2-like domain had no apparent effect on signalling in response to IFN-gamma. Results with deletion mutants, however, indicated that association of JAK2 with the IFN-gammaR2 subunit requires the amino-terminal region but not the pseudokinase domain. Consistent with this, in chimeras with JAK1, the JAK2 amino-terminal region was required for receptor association and STAT1 activation. Conversely, a JAK1-JAK2 chimera with the amino-terminal domains of JAK1 linked to the pseudokinase and kinase domains of JAK2 is capable of reconstituting JAK-STAT signalling in response to IFN-alpha and -gamma in mutant U4C cells lacking JAK1. The specificity of the JAKs may therefore lie mainly in their structural interaction with different receptor and signalling proteins rather than in the substrate specificity of their kinase domains.[1]


  1. A JAK1/JAK2 chimera can sustain alpha and gamma interferon responses. Kohlhuber, F., Rogers, N.C., Watling, D., Feng, J., Guschin, D., Briscoe, J., Witthuhn, B.A., Kotenko, S.V., Pestka, S., Stark, G.R., Ihle, J.N., Kerr, I.M. Mol. Cell. Biol. (1997) [Pubmed]
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