Sharing of receptor subunits and signal transduction pathway between the IL-4 and IL-13 receptor system

Int J Hematol. 1999 Jan;69(1):13-20.


In this review, we summarize the subunit structure of the interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-13 receptor system and the molecular mechanism of signals through the cytokine receptor systems. We have demonstrated that two different forms of IL-4R exist, classical and alternative. Classical IL-4R is predominantly expressed in hematopoietic cells and consists of IL-4R p140 (beta) and IL-2R gamma (gamma c) chains. The alternative form of IL-4R is predominantly expressed in nonhematopoietic cells and consists of IL-4R beta and IL-13R alpha' chains. Moreover, the alternative form of IL-4R is also used as a functional component in the IL-13R complex. For signal transduction through IL-4R and IL-13R, we have demonstrated that in nonhematopoietic cells, Janus protein tyrosine kinase (JAK) 2 is phosphorylated and activated instead of JAK3 tyrosine kinase. While JAK3 is required for signal transducer and activator of transcription-6 (STAT6) activation in hematopoietic cells, we recently demonstrated that in nonhematopoietic cells JAK2 is required for STAT6 activation for the alternative form of IL-4R. Thus, a major difference exists between hematopoietic and nonhematopoietic cells with regard to structure and signal transduction through the IL-4R and IL-13R systems.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Hematopoietic System / cytology
  • Hematopoietic System / enzymology
  • Interleukin-13 / physiology*
  • Interleukin-4 / physiology*
  • Janus Kinase 2
  • Janus Kinase 3
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasm Proteins / chemistry
  • Organ Specificity
  • Protein Conformation
  • Protein Isoforms / chemistry
  • Protein Isoforms / physiology
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / physiology
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins*
  • Receptors, Interleukin / chemistry
  • Receptors, Interleukin / physiology*
  • Receptors, Interleukin-13
  • Receptors, Interleukin-4 / chemistry
  • Receptors, Interleukin-4 / physiology*
  • STAT6 Transcription Factor
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Trans-Activators / physiology


  • Interleukin-13
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Receptors, Interleukin
  • Receptors, Interleukin-13
  • Receptors, Interleukin-4
  • STAT6 Transcription Factor
  • Trans-Activators
  • Interleukin-4
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Janus Kinase 2
  • Janus Kinase 3