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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1996 Jan 9;93(1):497-501.

Cloning and characterization of a binding subunit of the interleukin 13 receptor that is also a component of the interleukin 4 receptor.

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Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Victoria, Australia.


Interleukins 4 (IL-4) and 13 (IL-13) have been found previously to share receptor components on some cells, as revealed by receptor cross-competition studies. In the present study, the cloning is described of murine NR4, a previously unrecognized receptor identified on the basis of sequence similarity with members of the hemopoietin receptor family. mRNA encoding NR4 was found in a wide range of murine cells and tissues. By using transient expression in COS-7 cells, NR4 was found to encode the IL-13 receptor alpha chain, a low-affinity receptor capable of binding IL-13 but not IL-4 or interleukins 2, -7, -9, or -15. Stable expression of the IL-13 receptor alpha chain (NR4) in CTLL-2 cells resulted in the generation of high-affinity IL-13 receptors capable of transducing a proliferative signal in response to IL-13 and, moreover, led to competitive cross-reactivity in the binding of IL-4 and IL-13. These results suggest that the IL-13 receptor alpha chain (NR4) is the primary binding subunit of the IL-13 receptor and may also be a component of IL-4 receptors.

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