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Cell. 1997 Jun 13;89(6):909-16.

SH2 signaling in a lower eukaryote: a STAT protein that regulates stalk cell differentiation in dictyostelium.

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Department of Biology, University College London, United Kingdom.


The TTGA-binding factor is a transcriptional regulator activated by DIF, the chlorinated hexaphenone that induces prestalk cell differentiation in Dictyostelium. The same activity also functions as a repressor, controlling stalk cell differentiation. We show that the TTGA-binding factor is a STAT protein. Like the metazoan STATs, it functions via the reciprocal interaction of a phosphotyrosine residue on one molecule with an SH2 domain on a dimerizing partner. Furthermore, it will bind specifically to a mammalian interferon-stimulated response element. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, where the entire genomic sequence is known, SH2 domains have not been identified. It would seem, therefore, that SH2 signaling pathways arose very early in the evolution of multicellular organisms, perhaps to facilitate intercellular comunication.

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