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Mol Cell Biol. 1996 Sep;16(9):4932-41.

Enhancement of antiproliferative activity of gamma interferon by the specific inhibition of tyrosine dephosphorylation of Stat1.

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Department of Medicine, Molecular Biology Institute, University of California--Los Angeles, 90095-1678, USA.


Gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) signals to the nucleus through the activation, by tyrosine phosphorylation, of the latent cytoplasmic transcription factor Stat1 (signal transducer and activator of transcription). It has been demonstrated that the activity of Stat1 is dependent on tyrosine phosphorylation which is regulated by Jak tyrosine kinases as well as by the as-yet-unidentified protein tyrosine phosphatase. We report that the N-terminal domain of Stat1, which is highly conserved among all STAT family members, is required for its tyrosine dephosphorylation. A single amino acid substitution (Arg-31 to Ala) in the Stat1 N-terminal domain inhibited Stat1 tyrosine dephosphorylation. The deletion of the Stat1 N-terminal domain resulted in a mutant Stat1 protein which was constitutively phosphorylated on Tyr-701. Upon IFN-gamma stimulation, the tyrosine phosphorylation of this mutant protein was further enhanced but was not down-regulated by protein tyrosine phosphatase in vivo. When expressed in NIH 3T3 cells, this mutant protein greatly enhanced the antiproliferative activity of IFN-gamma. We suggest that the N-terminal domains of STATs are crucial for modulating STAT activities through regulating the tyrosine dephosphorylation of STATs.

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