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Mol Biol Cell. 1994 Jul;5(7):819-28.

Phosphorylation and internalization of gp130 occur after IL-6 activation of Jak2 kinase in hepatocytes.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham 35294.


Recent evidence has shown that members of the Jak kinase family are activated after IL-6 binds to its receptor complex, leading to a tyrosine phosphorylation of gp130, the IL-6 signal-transducing subunit. The different members of the IL-6 cytokine subfamily induce distinct patterns of Jak-Tyk phosphorylation in different cell types. Using monospecific antibodies to gp130, Jak2 kinase, and phosphotyrosine, we investigated the kinetics of IL-6 stimulation of members of this pathway in primary hepatocytes. Our findings show that Jak 2 is maximally activated within 2 min of exposure to IL-6, followed by gp130 phosphorylation that reaches its peak in another 2 min then declines to basal level by 60 min. In vitro phosphorylation experiments show that activated Jak 2 is able to phosphorylate both native gp130 and a fusion peptide containing its cytoplasmic domain, demonstrating gp130 is a direct substrate of Jak 2 kinase. Experiments designed to explore the cell surface expression of gp130 show that > or = 2 h are required to get a second round of phosphorylation after the addition of more cytokines. This finding suggests that activated gp130 is internalized from the cell surface after IL-6 stimulation. Additional experiments using protein synthesis inhibitors reveal that new protein synthesis is required to get a second cycle of gp130 phosphorylation indicating gp130 must be synthesized de novo and inserted into the membrane. These findings provide strong evidence that down regulation of the IL-6 signal in hepatocytes involves the internalization and cytosol degradation of gp130.

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