Send to

Choose Destination
Biochemistry. 2004 May 11;43(18):5445-54.

Signal transduction mechanism of a peptide mimetic of interferon-gamma.

Author information

Department of Microbiology & Cell Science, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611, USA.


The C-terminus of interferon-gamma (IFNgamma) contains a nuclear localization sequence (NLS) required for the activation and nuclear translocation of the transcription factor STAT1alpha and induction of IFNgamma-activated genes. On the basis of this and other studies, we developed a peptide mimetic of IFNgamma that possesses the IFNgamma functions of antiviral activity and upregulation of MHC class II molecules. The mimetic also shares with IFNgamma the ability to induce the activation and nuclear translocation of STAT1alpha and the IFNgamma receptor (IFNGR)-1 subunit. The mimetic, IFNgamma(95-132), is a peptide that consists of the C-terminal residues 95-132 of murine IFNgamma and contains a required alpha-helical domain and the NLS of IFNgamma. In this study, we determined the mechanism of the intracellular action of the mimetic at the level of signal transduction. We show that the mimetic mediates the nuclear transport of IFNGR-1 through its interaction with IFNGR-1 cytoplasmic region 253-287 via both the helical region and the NLS of IFNgamma(95-132). Alanine substitutions of the NLS of the mimetic showed that the NLS was required for nuclear translocation and that the nuclear transport properties of the mimetic correlated with its ability to bind IFNGR-1. These data also show that the NLS of IFNgamma(95-132) can interact simultaneously with IFNGR-1 and the nuclear import machinery. We found that in in vitro nuclear transport assays tyrosine-phosphorylated STAT1alpha failed to undergo nuclear translocation in the presence of nuclear import factors, but was transported to nucleus in the presence of IFNgamma(95-132) and JAK2-phosphorylated IFNGR-1, to which STAT1alpha binds, as a complex of IFNgamma(95-132)/IFNGR-1/STAT1alpha. Thus, the mimetic, which possesses IFNgamma function, is directly involved as a chaperone in the nuclear transport of STAT1alpha and shares this mechanism of action with that previously described for IFNgamma. The mimetic, like IFNgamma, is able to upregulate the tumor suppressor p21WAF1/CIP1, a direct target of STAT1alpha, and this ability requires the NLS of the mimetic. However, unlike IFNgamma, the mimetic is unable to downregulate c-myc and hence does not inhibit the cycling of cells. This suggests that IFNgamma has additional functions that are not tied directly to the nuclear translocation of STAT1alpha.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Chemical Society
Loading ...
Support Center