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Cell. 1994 May 6;77(3):391-400.

The human interferon alpha/beta receptor: characterization and molecular cloning.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Genetics and Virology Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.


We describe a universal ligand-binding receptor for human interferons alpha and interferon beta (type I IFNs). A soluble 40 kDa IFN-alpha/beta receptor (p40) that blocks the activity of type I IFNs was purified from urine and sequenced. Antibodies raised against p40 completely block the activity of several type I IFNs and immuno-precipitate both a cellular 102 kDa IFN-alpha/beta receptor and its cross-linked complexes with IFN-alpha 2. The receptor is a disulfide-linked dimer, consisting of 51 kDa subunits. We isolated and expressed a 1.5 kb cDNA, coding for the IFN-alpha/beta receptor. Its 331 amino acid sequence includes a leader and a transmembrane region, while its ectodomain corresponds to p40. IFN-alpha/beta receptor is physically associated with the cytoplasmic Tyr kinase JAK1, hence, in addition to ligand binding, it is directly involved in signal transduction.

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