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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1990 Dec;87(24):9655-9.

Molecular cloning of a second subunit of the receptor for human granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF): reconstitution of a high-affinity GM-CSF receptor.

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Department of Molecular Biology, DNAX Research Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Palo Alto, CA 94304.


Using the mouse interleukin 3 (IL-3) receptor cDNA as a probe, we obtained a homologous cDNA (KH97) from a cDNA library of a human hemopoietic cell line, TF-1. The protein encoded by the KH97 cDNA has 56% amino acid sequence identity with the mouse IL-3 receptor and retains features common to the family of cytokine receptors. Fibroblasts transfected with the KH97 cDNA expressed a protein of 120 kDa but did not bind any human cytokines, including IL-3 and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). Interestingly, cotransfection of cDNAs for KH97 and the low-affinity human GM-CSF receptor in fibroblasts resulted in formation of a high-affinity receptor for GM-CSF. The dissociation rate of GM-CSF from the reconstituted high-affinity receptor was slower than that from the low-affinity site, whereas the association rate was unchanged. Cross-linking of 125I-labeled GM-CSF to fibroblasts cotransfected with both cDNAs revealed the same cross-linking patterns as in TF-1 cells--i.e., two major proteins of 80 and 120 kDa which correspond to the low-affinity GM-CSF receptor and the KH97 protein, respectively. These results indicate that the high-affinity GM-CSF receptor is composed of at least two components in a manner analogous to the IL-2 receptor. We therefore propose to designate the low-affinity GM-CSF receptor and the KH97 protein as the alpha and beta subunits of the GM-CSF receptor, respectively.

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