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

Transformation of hematopoietic cells and activation of JAK2-V617F by IL-27R, a component of a heterodimeric type I cytokine receptor.

PMID 18003935


From a patient with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), we have identified IL-27Ra (also known as TCCR and WSX1) as a gene whose expression can induce the transformation of hematopoietic cells. IL-27Ra (IL-27R) is a type I cytokine receptor that functions as the ligand binding component of the receptor for IL-27 and functions with the glycoprotein 130 (gp130) coreceptor to induce signal transduction in response to IL-27. We show that IL-27R is expressed on the cell surface of the leukemic cells of AML patients. 32D myeloid cells transformed by IL-27R contain elevated levels of activated forms of various signaling proteins, including JAK1, JAK2, STAT1, STAT3, STAT5, and ERK1/2. Inhibition of JAK family proteins induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in these cells, suggesting the transforming properties of IL-27R depend on the activity of JAK family members. IL-27R also transforms BaF3 cells to cytokine independence. Because BaF3 cells lack expression of gp130, this finding suggests that IL-27R-mediated transformation of hematopoietic cells is gp130-independent. Finally, we show that IL-27R can functionally replace a homodimeric type I cytokine receptor in the activation of JAK2-V617F, a critical JAK2 mutation in various myeloproliferative disorders (MPDs). Our data demonstrate that IL-27R possesses hematopoietic cell-transforming properties and suggest that, analogous to homodimeric type I cytokine receptors, single-chain components of heterodimeric receptors can also enhance the activation of JAK2-V617F. Therefore, such receptors may play unappreciated roles in MPDs.

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