Interacting regions in Stat3 and c-Jun that participate in cooperative transcriptional activation

Xiaokui Zhang, Melissa H. Wrzeszczynska, Curt M. Horvath, James E. Darnell*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Independent but closely spaced DNA binding sites for Stat3 and c-Jun are required for maximal enhancer function in a number of genes, including the gene encoding the interleukin-6 (IL-6)-induced acute-phase response protein, α2-macroglobulin. In addition, a physical interaction of Stat3 with c-Jun, based on yeast two-hybrid interaction experiments, has been reported. Here we confirm the existence of an interaction between Stat3 and c-Jun both in vitro, with recombinant proteins, and in vivo, during transient transfection. Using fragments of both proteins, we mapped the interactive sites to the C- terminal region of c-Jun and to two regions in Stat3, within the coiled-coil domain and in a portion of the DNA binding domain distant from DNA contact sites. In transient-transfection experiments with the α2-macroglobulin enhancer, Stat3 and c-Jun cooperated to yield maximal enhancer function. Point mutations of Stat3 within the interacting domains blocked both physical interaction of Stat3 with c-Jun and their cooperation in IL-6-induced transcription directed by the α2-macroglobulin enhancer. While the amino acid sequences and the three-dimensional structures of Stat3 and Stat1 cores are very similar, fragments of Stat1 failed to bind c-Jun in vitro. Although Stat1 binds in vitro to the gamma interferon gene response (GAS) element in the α2-macroglobulin enhancer, Stat1 did not stimulate transcription, nor did Stat1 and c-Jun cooperate in driving transcription controlled by the α2-macroglobulin enhancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7138-7146
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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