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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1991 Sep 1;88(17):7744-8.

A functional isoform of the human granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor receptor has an unusual cytoplasmic domain.

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  • 1Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, Children's Hospital, Boston, MA.


The granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) receptor (GMR) transduces a signal that results in the proliferation, differentiation, and functional activation of hematopoietic cells. This study sought to determine whether functional isoforms of the receptor exist that may be important in generating this diversity of cellular response. We have isolated a cDNA encoding an isoform of the low-affinity human GMR that is a product of alternative splicing of the GMR gene and results in a predicted 410-amino acid protein with a cytoplasmic domain that is rich in serine residues, a feature of regions critical in signal transduction for other receptors of the hematopoietin receptor superfamily. This receptor bound ligand and was functionally active when introduced into a murine factor-dependent cell line; mRNA transcripts representative of this isoform were coexpressed with those for a previously isolated 400-amino acid isoform of the GMR in normal hematopoietic and leukemic cells. In view of the recent isolation of a cDNA, designated GM-CSF R beta, that confers high-affinity binding of GM-CSF in cotransfection experiments with the low-affinity receptor, we suggest that the previously isolated low-affinity receptor be designated GM-CSF R alpha 1 and the one described in this report be designated GM-CSF R alpha 2.

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