Interleukin-4 (IL-4) and interleukin-12 (IL-12) control the differentiation of T-helper cells. Here we summarize studies which investigate the mechanism by which these cytokines selectively reprogramme gene expression in T-lymphocytes. Cytokine stimulation leads to the phosphorylation of specific tyrosine residues within the intracellular domain of the corresponding cytokine receptor. These phosphotyrosines serve as docking sites for latent, cytoplasmic transcription factors known as signal transducers and activators of transcription (Stat) proteins. Receptor/Stat interaction is mediated by the src homology 2 (SH2) domain of the corresponding Stat protein. Although Stat binding to the intracellular domain of the cytokine receptor strongly depends on the phosphotyrosine residue, the recruitment of a specific Stat protein is dictated by amino acid residues C-terminal to the phosphotyrosine. Specific docking sites within individual cytokine receptors have been identified for almost all Stat proteins. The direct coupling between cytokine receptor and transcription factor helps to explain how different cytokines elicit distinct patterns of gene expression.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Genes to Cells|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1996|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology