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J Biol Chem. 1997 Dec 19;272(51):32686-95.

Divergent signaling capacities of the long and short isoforms of the leptin receptor.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.


Leptin receptors include a long form (OBRl) with 302 cytoplasmic residues that is presumed to mediate most or all of leptins signaling, and several short forms, including one (OBRs) that has 34 cytoplasmic residues, is widely expressed, and is presumed not to signal but to mediate transport or clearance of leptin. We studied the abilities of these two receptor isoforms to mediate signaling in transfected cells. In response to leptin, OBRl, but not OBRs, underwent tyrosine phosphorylation that was enhanced by co-expression with JAK2. In cells expressing receptors and JAK2, both OBRs and OBRl mediated leptin-dependent tyrosine phosphorylation of JAK2, and this was abolished with OBRs when the Box 1 motif was mutated. In cells expressing receptors, JAK2 and IRS-1, leptin induced tyrosine phosphorylation of IRS-1 through OBRs and OBRl. In COS cells expressing hemagglutinin-ERK1 and receptors, leptin increased ERK1 kinase activity through OBRl, with the magnitude increased by co-expression of JAK1 or JAK2, and to a lesser degree through OBRs, despite greater receptor expression. In stable Chinese hamster ovary cell lines expressing OBRs or OBRl, leptin stimulated endogenous ERK2 phosphorylation. Whereas leptin stimulated tyrosine phosphorylation of hemagglutinin-STAT3 and induction of a c-fos luciferase reporter plasmid through OBRl, OBRs was without effect in these assays. In conclusion, OBRl is capable of signaling to IRS-1 and mitogen-activated protein kinase via JAK, in addition to activating STAT pathways. Although substantially weaker than OBRl, OBRs is capable of mediating signal transduction via JAK, but these activities are of as yet unknown significance for leptin biology in vivo.

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