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J Biol Chem. 1998 Sep 18;273(38):24723-9.

Specific contribution of Tyk2 JH regions to the binding and the expression of the interferon alpha/beta receptor component IFNAR1.

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  • 1Institut Pasteur, INSERM U276, Paris 75724 Cedex 15, France.


Cytokine signaling involves the activation of the Janus kinase (JAK) family of tyrosine kinases. These enzymes are physically associated with cytokine receptor components. Here, we sought to define the molecular basis of the interaction between Tyk2 and IFNAR1, a component of the interferon alpha/beta receptor, by delimiting a minimal IFNAR1 binding region in the Tyk2 protein. Using an in vitro assay system, we narrowed down the interaction domain to a region comprising the JH7 and part of the JH6 homology boxes (amino acids 22-221). When expressed in Tyk2-negative cells, the JH7-6 region was unable to stabilize IFNAR1 protein levels, a critical function that we previously attributed to the N region (amino acids 1-591) of Tyk2. Moreover, substitution of the JH7-JH6 domain in JAK1 with that of Tyk2 did not restore IFNAR1 level nor interferon alpha signaling in Tyk2-negative cells. Thus, the major interaction surface lies within JH7-6, but additional JH regions (JH5-4-3) contribute in a specific manner to the in vivo assembly of Tyk2 and IFNAR1. Evidence is also provided of the lack of specificity of the Tyk2 kinase-like and tyrosine kinase domains in interferon alpha/beta receptor signaling.

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