Teaching Resource

The Jak-STAT Pathway Stimulated by Interferon α or Interferon β

Science's STKE  23 Nov 2004:
Vol. 2004, Issue 260, pp. tr10
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2602004tr10


Type I interferons, such as interferon α and interferon β (IFN-α and β), signal through a Janus kinase (Jak) to signal transduction and activator of transcription (STAT) pathway to stimulate gene expression. In response to ligand binding, the receptors dimerize, Jaks phosphorylate STAT1 and STAT2, which then dimerize and interact with a third transcriptional regulator IFN regulatory factor 9 (IRF9) to stimulate gene expression. IFN-α is the main innate antiviral cytokine and is essential for effective immune response to viral infection. The animation shows activation of STAT-responsive gene expression in response to type I IFNs.