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J Biol Chem. 2000 Aug 18;275(33):25273-85.

Receptor subunit-specific action of oncostatin M in hepatic cells and its modulation by leukemia inhibitory factor.

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  • 1Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Buffalo, NY 14263, USA.


The related cytokines, interleukin-6 (IL-6), oncostatin M (OSM), and leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) direct the formation of specific heteromeric receptor complexes to achieve signaling. Each complex includes the common signal-transducing subunit gp130. OSM and LIF also recruit the signaling competent, but structurally distinct OSMRbeta and LIFRalpha subunits, respectively. To test the hypothesis that the particularly prominent cell regulation by OSM is due to signals contributed by OSMRbeta, we introduced stable expression of human or mouse OSMRbeta in rat hepatoma cells which have endogenous receptors for IL-6 and LIF, but not OSM. Both mouse and human OSM engaged gp130 with their respective OSMRbeta subunits, but only human OSM also acted through LIFR. Signaling by OSMRbeta-containing receptors was characterized by highest activation of STAT5 and ERK, recruitment of the insulin receptor substrate and Jun-N-terminal kinase pathways, and induction of a characteristic pattern of acute phase proteins. Since LIF together with LIFRalpha appear to form a more stable complex with gp130 than OSM with gp130 and OSMRbeta, co-activation of LIFR and OSMR resulted in a predominant LIF-like response. These results suggest that signaling by IL-6 cytokines is not identical, and that a hierarchical order of cytokine receptor action exists in which LIFR ranks as dominant member.

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