Distinct STAT structure promotes interaction of STAT2 with the p48 subunit of the interferon-alpha-stimulated transcription factor ISGF3. Academic Article uri icon


  • Cells express a variety of STAT (signal transducer and activator of transcription) transcription factors that are structurally homologous and yet function specifically in response to particular cytokines. The functions of the individual STATs are dependent on distinct protein-protein interactions. STAT1 and STAT2 are activated by tyrosine phosphorylation in response to type I interferons-alpha/beta (IFN-alpha/beta) and subsequently form a multimeric transcription factor designated the IFN-alpha-stimulated gene factor 3 (ISGF3). ISGF3 is a unique STAT complex because it also contains a non-STAT molecule, p48, which is a critical DNA-binding component. We provide evidence that STAT2 specifically interacts with p48 in vivo before and after IFN-alpha stimulation. The specificity of ISGF3 formation is therefore a result of the distinct nature of the STAT2 molecule. Coimmunoprecipitation assays demonstrate p48 association with STAT2 but not STAT1. Hybrid STAT2. STAT1 molecules were used to identify a region of STAT2 which specifically associates with p48. The region of STAT2 interaction spans an amino-terminal region of two predicted coiled coils. The studies demonstrate the in vivo existence of a STAT2.p48 complex and a distinct STAT2.STAT1 complex after IFN-alpha stimulation. Data suggest that distinct bipartite complexes STAT2.p48 and STAT2.STAT1 translocate to the nucleus and associate on the DNA target site as ISGF3.

published proceedings

  • J Biol Chem

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Martinez-Moczygemba, M., Gutch, M. J., French, D. L., & Reich, N. C

citation count

  • 105

complete list of authors

  • Martinez-Moczygemba, M||Gutch, MJ||French, DL||Reich, NC

publication date

  • August 1997