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

Homodimerization of the human interleukin 4 receptor alpha chain induces Cepsilon germline transcripts in B cells in the absence of the interleukin 2 receptor gamma chain.

The cytokines interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-13 play a critical role in inducing Cepsilon germline transcripts and IgE isotype switching in human B cells. The IL-4 receptor (IL-4R) in B cells is composed of two chains, the IL-4-binding IL-4Ralpha chain, which is shared with the IL-13R, and the IL-2Rgamma (gammac) chain, which is shared with IL-7R, IL-9R, and IL-15R. IL-4 induces Cepsilon germline transcripts and IgE isotype switching in B cells from patients with gammac chain deficiency. Induction of Cepsilon germline transcripts by IL-4 in B cells that lack the gammac chain may involve signaling via the IL-13R. Alternatively, the IL-4Ralpha chain may transduce intracellular signals that lead to Cepsilon gene transcription independently of its association with other chains. We show that ligand-induced homodimerization of chimeric surface receptors consisting of the extracellular and transmembrane domains of the erythropoietin receptor and of the intracellular domain of IL-4Ralpha induces Janus kinase 1 ( Jak1) activation, STAT6 activation, and Cepsilon germline transcripts in human B cell line BJAB. Disruption of the Jak1- binding proline-rich Box1 region of IL-4Ralpha abolished signaling by this chimeric receptor. Furthermore, B cells transfected with a chimeric CD8alpha/IL-4Ralpha receptor, which is expressed on the cell surface as a homodimer, constitutively expressed Cepsilon germline transcripts. These results suggest that homodimerization of the IL-4Ralpha chain is sufficient to transduce Jak1-dependent intracellular signals that lead to IgE isotype switching.[1]


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