In vitro activation of Stat3 by epidermal growth factor receptor kinase

Ohkmae K. Park, Timothy S. Schaefer, Daniel Nathans

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173 Citations (Scopus)


Stat proteins are SH2 domain-containing transcription factors that are activated in cells by various cytokines and growth factors. In the case of cytokines whose receptors lack protein kinase activity, phosphorylation- activation is mediated by members of the JAK family of tyrosine protein kinases. In the case of growth factors whose receptors have intrinsic tyrosine protein kinase activity, it is thought that Stat proteins can be activated either directly by the receptor or indirectly through JAK proteins. To test the possibility of direct activation, we have used purified Stat3α, Stat3β, and epidermal growth factor receptor kinase produced in recombinant baculovirus-infected Sf9 insect cells. The Stat proteins formed a stable complex with the receptor kinase, and they were phosphorylated on tyrosine by the receptor kinase and activated for binding to DNA, properties shared with Stat proteins purified from Sf9 cells coexpressing JAK1 or JAK2. Both JAK-phosphorylated Stat3β and Stat3β phosphorylated in vitro by the receptor kinase were 20-50 times more active on a molar basis for DNA binding than phosphorylated Stat3α. We conclude that Stat3 isoforms can be directly phosphorylated and thereby activated in vitro by the epidermal growth factor receptor kinase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13704-13708
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 1996 Nov 26
Externally publishedYes


  • JAK proteins
  • cytokines
  • growth factors
  • signal transduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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