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J Immunol. 2003 May 15;170(10):4886-90.

Cutting edge: role of IL-27/WSX-1 signaling for induction of T-bet through activation of STAT1 during initial Th1 commitment.

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Division of Molecular and Cellular Immunology, Medical Institute of Bioregulation, and Department of Ophthalmology, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.


WSX-1 is a member of the class I cytokine receptor family with homology to IL-12R beta 2 and is essential for the initial mounting of Th1 responses. STAT1 interacts with tyrosine-phosphorylated WSX-1, and the conserved tyrosine residue of the cytoplasmic domain of WSX-1 is essential for transcriptional activation of STAT1. IL-27 stimulation induced STAT1 phosphorylation in wild-type but not in WSX-1-deficient naive CD4(+) T cells. Although IL-27 did not directly induce IFN-gamma production by wild-type CD4(+) T cells, IL-12-dependent IFN-gamma production was augmented by IL-27 stimulation in wild-type naive CD4(+) T cells but was impaired in WSX-1-deficient naive CD4(+) T cells. Additionally, IL-27 stimulation induced T-bet and IL-12R beta 2 expression in wild-type, but not in WSX-1-deficient, CD4(+) T cells. Thus, during the initiation of Th1 differentiation, the IL-27/WSX-1 signaling system plays a pivotal role by STAT1-mediated T-bet induction before the IL-12R system.

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