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J Biol Chem. 2001 Aug 17;276(33):30812-8. Epub 2001 Jun 8.

The receptor interaction region of Tyk2 contains a motif required for its nuclear localization.

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Laboratoire de Signalisation des Cytokines, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.


Janus kinases have so far been viewed as enzymatic intermediates that couple a variety of cell surface receptors to downstream substrates with diverse effector functions. Tyk2 is a member of this family that is involved in the interferon-alpha/beta and interleukin-12 signaling pathways via its specific interaction with the IFNAR1 and the beta1 receptor subunits. Here, we have analyzed the subcellular distribution of the wild-type Tyk2 protein and of several mutants expressed in Tyk2-deficient human cells. Direct GFP-associated fluorescence and immunostaining showed a diffuse localization of Tyk2 throughout the cell, including the nuclear compartment. The nuclear localization of Tyk2 requires a nuclear localization signal-like motif rich in arginine residues that maps within the region mediating interaction with cytokine receptors. To address the question of the role of the Tyk2 nuclear pool in interferon-alpha/beta-induced biological effects, cells expressing a membrane-targeted form of Tyk2-green fluorescent protein were analyzed for their interferon-alpha responses. Our studies demonstrate that Tyk2 can reside in the nucleus independently of receptor binding and that the nuclear pool is dispensable for the transcriptional and anti-vesicular stomatitis virus responses induced by interferon-alpha.

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