Author(s): Johnson HM, NoonSong E, Ahmed CM
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Abstract The mechanism of specific gene activation by cytokines that use JAK/STAT signalling pathway is unknown. There are four different types of JAKs and seven different types of STATs. In the classical model of signaling, ligand interacts solely with the receptor extracellular domain, which triggers JAK activation at the receptor cytoplasmic domain. Activated STATs are then said to carry out nuclear events of specific gene activation, including associated epigenetic changes that cause heterochromatin destabilization. Ligand, receptor, and JAKs play no further role in the classical model. Given the limited number of STATs and the activation of the same STATs by cytokines with different functions, the mechanism of the specificity of their signalling is not obvious. Focusing on gamma interferon (IFNγ), we have shown that ligand, receptor, and activated JAKs are involved in nuclear events that are associated with specific gene activation. In this model, receptor subunit IFNGR1 functions as a transcription/cotranscription factor and the JAKs are involved in key epigenetic events that are required for specific gene activation. The model has implications for gene activation in cancer as well as stem cell differentiation.
This article was published in J Clin Cell Immunol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology