An early step in GH action involves tyrosine phosphorylation of various cellular proteins. Recently, it has been shown in murine preadipocytes that GH promotes the association of its receptor (the GHR) with and the activation of the JAK2 tyrosine kinase. In this study, we confirmed the human (h) GH- induced association of JAK2 with hGHR in IM-9 cells by coimmunoprecipitation experiments using anti-hGHR serum. We further examined the interaction of JAK2 with the GHR cytoplasmic domain by two lines of investigation. For in vitro studies, we assayed by immunoblotting the ability of cell-derived JAK2 to interact with glutathione S-transferase fusion proteins containing elements of the hGHR cytoplasmic domain. A fusion protein containing the entire hGHR cytoplasmic domain (residues 271-620) specifically associated with JAK2 independent of prior stimulation of cells with hGH. This interaction was not dependent on tyrosine phosphorylation of either partner. Mutational analysis of the hGHR cytoplasmic domain component of the fusions indicated that a membrane-proximal 20-residue region that includes the proline-rich box 1 was necessary for the interaction. This region appeared to cooperate with another region(s), largely in the N-terminal one third of the cytoplasmic domain, to promote full interaction with JAK2. For in vivo reconstitution experiments, wild-type (WT) and mutant rabbit GHRs (rGHRs) along with murine JAK2 were expressed by transient transfection in COS-7 cells. rGHR mutations were confined to the cytoplasmic domain and included C- terminal truncations as well as internal deletions of residues 297-406 and 278-292 (the latter contains box 1). All mutant rGHRs were expressed at the cell surface and bound hGH to a degree similar to the WT rGHR. Receptors were tested for their ability to mediate the hGH-induced immunoprecipitability of JAK2 with phosphotyrosine (APT) antibodies. A rGHR truncated to residue 275 [rGHR-(1-275)], which contains only five cytoplasmic residues, failed to mediate JAK2 APT precipitability in response to hGH. In contrast, WT rGHR; the C-terminal truncations rGHR-(1-542), rGHR-(1-390), and rGHR-(1-317); and the rGHR-(d297-406) deletion mutant maintained this ability. Deletion of the 278-292 box 1-containing region in the context of either rGHR-(d297-406) or WT rGHR eliminated detectable hGH-induced JAK2 APT precipitability. Interestingly, rGHR-(1-292), which includes box 1, was not able to mediate significant hGH-induced JAK2 APT precipitability. We conclude that, as in other hematopoietin receptor superfamily members, the GHR box 1 region is critical in allowing productive interaction with JAK2. However, this region appears to require the presence of another cytoplasmic domain region(s) to exert its effect.
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