Erythropoietin induces association of the JAK2 protein tyrosine kinase with the erythropoietin receptor in vivo

Osamu Miura, Norihiko Nakamura, Frederick W. Quelle, Bruce A. Witthuhn, James N. Ihle, Nobuo Aoki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

155 Scopus citations


Protein tyrosine phosphorylation has been hypothesized to play a key role in the growth signaling induced by erythropoietin (Epo), although the Epo receptor (EpoR), a member of the cytokine receptor superfamily, lacks a tyrosine kinase domain. Recently, the JAK2 tyrosine kinase was shown to be activated on Epo stimulation and to bind to the cytoplasmic domain of EpoR in vitro. To further explore the mechanisms of activation of JAK2 in EpoR- mediated signal transduction, we assessed the conditions for association of JAK2 with EpoR in vivo. Epo stimulation rapidly induced association of JAK2 with the EpoR in an interleukin 3 (IL-3)-dependent cell line transfected with the wild-type EpoR. On Epo stimulation JAK2 also associated with a truncated mutant EpoR (H-mutant), which is mitogenetically active but not tyrosine phosphorylated, indicating that association does not require receptor phosphorylation and occurs in the membrane proximal region. However, association was not detected with mutant receptors inactivated by an internal deletion or a point mutation, Trp282 to Arg, in a membrane-proximal cytoplasmic region (PB or PM4 mutant, respectively). Immune complex kinase assays of anti-EpoR immunoprecipitates also revealed that activated JAK2 associates with the EpoR in Epo-stimulated cells. By this approach, association also occurred with the mitogenically active H mutant but not with the mitogenically inactive PB or PM4 mutants. In the immune complex kinases assays, EpoR, JAK2, and a 150-kD protein were phosphorylated on tyrosine. Taken together, the results further support the hypothesis that, on Epo stimulation, JAK2 associates with the membrane-proximal cytoplasmic region of the EpoR to be activated and induces tyrosine phosphorylation of cellular substrates, including the EpoR, to transduce a growth signal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1501-1507
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 1994


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