A dual role for the kinase-like domain of the tyrosine kinase Tyk2 in interferon-alpha signaling

Yeh, T. C.; Dondi, E.; Uze, G.; Pellegrini, S.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

2000-08-01 / vol 97 / pages 8991-8996


Tyrosine kinases of the Janus kinase family initiate cellular responses through their association with receptors for alpha-helical cytokines. In addition to a tyrosine kinase domain, these enzymes possess a kinase-like (KL) domain, whose function remains elusive. To investigate the role of the KL domain of Tyk2 in interferon-alpha/beta signaling, we transfected a library of Tyk2 cDNAs containing random point mutations in KL into Tyk2-negative cells and selected for loss-of-function Tyk2 mutants. Four such mutants, V584D, G596V, H669P, and R856G, were identified through this screen. Like the wild-type Tyk2, the mutant proteins were able to sustain the level of IFNAR1 receptor protein. However, all four mutants were incapable of restoring high-affinity interferon-alpha binding in Tyk2-negative cells and were also catalytically impaired, even when transiently overexpressed, Interferon-alpha induced phosphorylation, and gene expression could be detected in V584D- or G596V-expressing cells, but not in H669P- or R856G-expressing cells. Furthermore, H669P and R856G proteins were constitutively highly phosphorylated. All together, our findings demonstrate that an intact KL domain is essential for the intrinsic catalytic activity of Tyk2 and for the establishment of a high-affinity interferon-alpha receptor complex.



activation; expression; receptor; gene; binding; component; jak-stat pathways; phosphatase; protein-kinase; requires phosphorylation

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