PDGF stimulates tyrosine phosphorylation of Janus kinase 1 (JAK1) and the signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1alpha). However, it is not known whether JAKs are required for STAT1alpha phosphorylation or if the PDGF receptor itself can directly tyrosine phosphorylate and activate STAT1alpha. In vitro immunecomplex kinase assay of PDGF beta receptor (PDGFR) or STAT1alpha immunoprecipitates from lysates of mesangial cells treated with PDGF showed phosphorylation of a 91- and an 185-kD protein. Incubation of lysates prepared from quiescent mesangial cells with purified PDGFR resulted in STAT1alpha activation. Immunodepletion of Janus kinases from the cell lysate before incubation with the purified PDGFR showed no effect on STAT1alpha activation. Moreover, lysates from mesangial cells treated with JAK2 inhibitor, retained significant STAT1alpha activity. To confirm that STAT1alpha is a substrate for PDGFR, STAT1alpha protein was prepared by in vitro transcription and translation. The addition of purified PDGFR to the translated STAT1alpha resulted in its phosphorylation. This in vitro phosphorylated and activated protein also forms a specific protein-DNA complex. Dimerization of the translated STAT1alpha protein was also required for its DNA binding. Incubation of pure STAT1alpha with autophosphorylated PDGFR resulted in physical association of the two proteins. These data indicate that activated PDGFR may be sufficient to tyrosine phosphorylate and thus directly activate STAT1alpha.
G G Choudhury, N Ghosh-Choudhury, H E Abboud