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Cutting edge: the common gamma-chain is an indispensable subunit of the IL-21 receptor complex.

The common gamma-chain (gamma(c)) is an indispensable subunit of the functional receptor complexes for IL-4, IL-7, IL-9, and IL-15 as well as IL-2. Here we show that the gamma(c) is also shared with the IL-21R complex. Although IL-21 binds to the IL-21R expressed on gamma(c)-deficient ED40515(-) cells, IL-21 is unable to transduce any intracytoplasmic signals. However, in EDgamma-16 cells, a gamma(c)-transfected ED40515(-) cell line, IL-21 binds to the IL-21R and can activate Janus kinase (JAK)1, JAK3, STAT1, and STAT3. The chemical cross-linking study reveals the direct binding of IL-21 to the gamma(c). These data clearly demonstrate that the gamma(c) is an indispensable subunit of the functional IL-21R complex.

Pubmed ID: 11418623


  • Asao H
  • Okuyama C
  • Kumaki S
  • Ishii N
  • Tsuchiya S
  • Foster D
  • Sugamura K


Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)

Publication Data

July 1, 2001

Associated Grants


Mesh Terms

  • Cell Line
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Humans
  • Interleukin Receptor Common gamma Subunit
  • Interleukin-21 Receptor alpha Subunit
  • Interleukins
  • Janus Kinase 1
  • Janus Kinase 3
  • Milk Proteins
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Receptors, Interleukin
  • Receptors, Interleukin-21
  • Receptors, Interleukin-7
  • STAT1 Transcription Factor
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor
  • STAT5 Transcription Factor
  • Signal Transduction
  • Trans-Activators