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J Immunol. 2005 Jan 15;174(2):609-13.

Cutting edge: role of STAT1, STAT3, and STAT5 in IFN-alpha beta responses in T lymphocytes.

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Division of Biological Sciences, and Cancer Center, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA.


Engagement of the IFN-alphabeta receptor initiates multiple signaling cascades, including activation of the STAT. In this study, we demonstrate that IFN-alphabeta, although antiproliferative in wild-type CD4(+) or CD8(+) T cells, act as strong mitogens on their STAT1(-/-) counterparts. Furthermore, IFN-alphabeta exert little effect on apoptosis in wild-type cells, but are potent survival factors in the absence of STAT1. The antiapoptotic response in the absence of STAT1 is predominantly mediated by STAT3, and to a lesser extent by STAT5A/B. In contrast, the mitogenic IFN-alphabeta response gained through the absence of STAT1 is only marginally affected when STAT5A/B expression is also abrogated, but is completely dependent on STAT3 activation. These findings provide the first evidence for a function of STAT3 and STAT5A/B in the IFN-alphabeta response, and support a model in which the IFN-alphabeta receptor initiates both pro- and antiapoptotic responses through STAT1, and STAT3 and STAT5A/B, respectively.

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