An atopy-associated polymorphism in the ectodomain of the IL-4Rα chain (V50) regulates the persistence of STAT6 phosphorylation

Andrew Q. Ford, Nicola M. Heller, Linda Stephenson, Mark R. Boothby, Achsah D. Keegan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Several commonly occurring polymorphisms in the IL-4Rαhave been associated with atopy in humans; the Q576R and the S503P polymorphisms reside in the cytoplasmic domain, whereas the I50 to V50 polymorphism resides in the extracellular domain of the IL-4Rα. The effects of these polymorphisms on signaling remain controversial. To determine the effect of the polymorphisms on IL-4 signaling in human cells, we stably transfected the human monocytic cell line U937 with murine IL-4Rα cDNA bearing the I or V at position 50 and the P503/R576 double mutant. Each form of the murine IL-4Rα mediated tyrosine phosphorylation of STAT6 in response to murine IL-4 treatment similar to the induction of tyrosine phosphorylation by human IL-4 signaling through the endogenous human IL-4Rα. After IL-4 removal, tyrosine-phosphorylated STAT6 rapidly decayed in cells expressing I50 or P503R576 murine IL-4Rα. In contrast, STAT6 remained significantly phosphorylated for several hours after murine IL-4 withdrawal in cells expressing the V50 polymorphism. This persistence in tyrosine-phosphorylated STAT6 was associated with persistence in CIS mRNA expression. Blocking IL-4 signaling during the decay phase using the JAK inhibitor AG490 or the anti-IL-4Rα Ab M1 abrogated the persistence of phosphorylated STAT6 observed in the V50-IL-4Rα-expressing cells. These results indicate that the V50 polymorphism promotes sustained STAT6 phosphorylation and that this process is mediated by continued engagement of IL-4Rα, suggesting enhanced responses of V50 IL-4R when IL-4 is limiting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1607-1616
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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