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Nature. 1994 Jul 14;370(6485):151-3.

Phosphorylation and activation of the Jak-3 Janus kinase in response to interleukin-2.

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Leukocyte Cell Biology Section, PRI/DynCorp, Frederick, Maryland.


Interleukin-2 is an autocrine growth factor for T cells which also activates other cells including B cells and natural killer cells. The subunits of the interleukin-2 receptor (IL-2R) lack intrinsic enzymatic activity, but protein tyrosine phosphorylation is a critical event following ligand binding and src family kinases, such as Lck, are known to be activated by IL-2 (refs 5-9). However, IL-2 signalling can occur in the absence of receptor interaction with Lck, suggesting that other protein tyrosine kinases might be important. Here we report that a new member of the Janus family of kinases (Jak-3) is coupled to the IL-2R in human peripheral blood T cells and natural killer cells.

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