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Int Immunol. 1999 Aug;11(8):1283-94.

Activation of STAT5 by IL-4 relies on Janus kinase function but not on receptor tyrosine phosphorylation, and can contribute to both cell proliferation and gene regulation.

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Theodor-Boveri-Institut für Biowissenschaften (Biozentrum), Physiologische Chemie II, Am Hubland, 97074 Würzburg, Germany.


We have investigated mechanisms and consequences of STAT5 activation through the human IL-4 receptor (IL-4R). By functionally expressing receptor mutants in the murine pro-B cell line Ba/F3, we could show that phosphorylated tyrosine residues within the IL-4R alpha chain are dispensable for IL-4-induced STAT5 activity. However, disruption of a membrane-proximal proline-rich sequence motif ('box1') in either subunit of the bipartite IL-4R abolished not only ligand-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of Janus kinases JAK1 and JAK3, but also IL-4-triggered activation of STAT5 and concomitant cell proliferation. A dominant-negative version of STAT5b, but not of STAT5a, interfered with IL-4-induced DNA synthesis in Ba/F3 cells, suggesting an involvement of STAT5b in the control of cell proliferation through IL-4R. Reporter gene experiments finally showed that transcription from promoters of STAT5 target genes can be specifically induced by challenging cells with IL-4, and that both STAT5a and STAT5b can contribute to IL-4-triggered transcriptional control.

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