A functional green fluorescent protein-tagged erythropoietin receptor despite physical separation of JAK2 binding site and tyrosine residues

Robin Ketteler, Achim C. Heinrich, Julia K. Offe, Verena Becker, Jacob Cohen, Drorit Neumann, Ursula Klingmüller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Signaling through hematopoietic cytokine receptors such as the erythropoietin receptor (EpoR) depends on the activation of a receptor-bound Janus kinase (JAK) and tyrosine phosphorylation of the cytoplasmic domain. To visualize the EpoR and elucidate structural requirements coordinating signal transduction, we probed the EpoR by inserting the green fluorescent protein (GFP) at various positions. We show that insertion of GFP in proximity to the transmembrane domain, either in the extracellular or the cytoplasmic domain, results in EpoR-GFP receptors incompetent to elicit biological responses in a factor-dependent cell line or in erythroid progenitor cells. Surprisingly, a receptor harboring GFP insertion in the middle of the cytoplasmic domain, and thereby separating the JAK2 binding site from the tyrosine residues, is capable of supporting signal transduction in response to ligand binding. Comparable with the wild type EpoR, but more efficient than a C-terminal EpoR-GFP fusion, this chimeric receptor promotes the maturation of erythroid progenitor cells and is localized in punctated endosome-like structures. We conclude that the extracellular, transmembrane, and membrane-proximal segment of the cytoplasmic domain form a rigid structural entity whose precise orientation is essential for the initiation of signal transduction, whereas the cytoplasmic domain possesses flexibility in adopting an activated conformation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26547-26552
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume277
Issue number29
DOIs
StatePublished - 19 Jul 2002
Externally publishedYes

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