The interferon gamma (IFN-γ) receptor: A paradigm for the multichain cytokine receptor

Sidney Pestka, Serguei V. Kotenko, Geetha Muthukumaran, Lara S. Izotova, Jeffry R. Cook, Gianni Garotta

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

134 Scopus citations


With the purification and cloning of the interferon gamma (IFN-γ) receptor chains the mechanism of IFN-γ action and the resultant signal transduction events were delineated in remarkable detail. The interferon gamma (IFN-γ) receptor complex consists of two chains: IFN-γR1, the ligand- binding chain, and IFN-γR2, the accessory chain. Binding of IFN-γ causes oligomerization of the two IFN-γ receptor subunits, IFN-γR1 and IFN-γR2, which initiates the signal transduction events: activation of Jak1 and Jak2 receptor associated protein tyrosine kinases, phosphorylation of the IFN- γR1 intracellular domain on Tyr440 followed by phosphorylation and activation of Stat1α, the latent transcriptional factor. With all these steps established, the IFN-γ receptor complex has provided the basic model for understanding the receptors for other members of the family of class II cytokine receptors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-206
Number of pages18
JournalCytokine and Growth Factor Reviews
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


  • Cytokine
  • IFN-γ
  • Interferon
  • Receptors
  • Signal transduction

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