NMR backbone dynamics of the human type I interferon binding subunit, a representative cytokine receptor

Jordan H. Chill, Sabine R. Quadt, Jacob Anglister

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The antiviral and antiproliferative activities of type I interferons (IFNs) are mediated by a common receptor, and its second subunit (IFNAR2) exhibits nanomolar affinity to both IFNα and IFNβ subtypes. We have previously determined the structure of the IFN-binding extracellular domain of IFNAR2 (IFNAR2-EC) using multidimensional NMR [Chill, J. H., Quadt, S. R., Levy, R., Schreiber, G. E., and Anglister, J. (2003) Structure 11, 791-802], showing it to comprise two fibronectin domains linked by a hinge. As the first cytokine receptor structure determined in the unliganded state and in solution, IFNAR2-EC offers an opportunity to characterize the dynamics of the cytokine receptor family and their correlation to biological function. Backbone dynamics of IFNAR2-EC were investigated using 15N relaxation at 11.74 and 18.79 T, and measurements of residual dipolar couplings (RDCs). Dynamics of the binding site distinguish between rigid structural domains, which stabilize the binding site conformation, and a more flexible binding interface which interacts with the ligand. Measurements of diffusional anisotropy and RDCs and model-free analysis all show that the backbone of the hinge interdomain region of IFNAR2-EC is rigid on the picosecond to nanosecond time scale. Signal transduction in cytokines receptors is initiated by ligand-induced juxtaposition of the two receptor subunits, triggering the mutual phosphorylation of kinases associated to their cytoplasmic domains. The rigidity of the hinge ensures correct positioning of the receptor subunits in the ternary signaling complex and modulates the interaction between kinases in the cytoplasm, thereby controlling the rate and efficiency of phosphorylation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10127-10137
Number of pages11
Issue number31
StatePublished - 10 Aug 2004
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
National Institute of General Medical SciencesR01GM053329


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