Interferon-dependent activation of the serine kinase PI 3'-kinase requires engagement of the IRS pathway but not the Stat pathway

Shahab Uddin, Beata Majchrzak, Pu Chen Wang, Sanjiv Modi, Mohammad K. Khan, Eleanor N. Fish, Leonidas C. Platanias*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Several signaling pathways are activated by interferon α (IFNα) in hematopoietic cells, including the Jak-Stat and the insulin receptor substrate (IRS) pathways. It has been previously shown that IFNα activates the phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3'-kinase via an interaction of the p85 subunit of PI 3'-kinase with IRS proteins. Other studies have proposed that Stat-3 also functions as an adapter for p85. We sought to identify the major pathway that regulates IFNα activation of the PI3'-kinase in hematopoietic cells. Our data demonstrate that IFNα induces the interaction of p85 with IRS-1 or IRS-2, but not Stat-3, in various hematopoietic cell lines in which IRS-1 and/or IRS-2 and Stat-3 are activated by IFNα. In addition, inhibition of PI 3'-kinase activity by preincubation of cells with the PI 3'-kinase inhibitor LY294902 does not affect IFN-dependent formation of SIF complexes that contain Stat-3. To determine whether phosphorylation of tyrosine residues in the IFN receptor is required for activation of the PI 3'-kinase, we performed studies using mouse L929 fibroblasts transfected with mutated human IFNAR1 and/or IFNAR2 subunits of the Type I IFN receptor, lacking tyrosine phosphorylation sites. The serine kinase activity of the PI-3K was activated by human IFNα in these cells, suggesting that phosphorylation of the Type I IFN receptor is not essential for PI3K activation. We then determined whether IFNα activates the Akt kinase, a known downstream target for PI 3'-kinase that mediates anti-apoptotic signals. Akt was activated by insulin or IGF-1, but not IFNα, in the IFNα-sensitive U-266 myeloma cell line. Altogether, our data establish that the IRS pathway and not the Stat pathway, is the major pathway regulating engagement of PI 3'-kinase in hematopoietic cells. Furthermore, the selective activation of Akt by insulin/IGF-1 suggests the existence of distinct regulatory activities of PI3'-kinase in growth factor versus interferon signaling. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-162
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Interferon-dependent activation of the serine kinase PI 3'-kinase requires engagement of the IRS pathway but not the Stat pathway'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this