Three lysine residues in the common β chain of the interleukin-5 receptor are required for Janus kinase (JAK)-dependent receptor ubiquitination, endocytosis, and signaling

J Biol Chem. 2011 Nov 18;286(46):40091-103. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.273482. Epub 2011 Sep 30.


Eosinophils are multifunctional leukocytes implicated in the pathogenesis of numerous inflammatory diseases including allergic asthma and hypereosinophilic syndrome. Eosinophil physiology is critically dependent on IL-5 and the IL-5 receptor (IL-5R), composed of a ligand binding α chain (IL-5Rα), and a common β chain, βc. Previously, we demonstrated that the βc cytoplasmic tail is ubiquitinated and degraded by proteasomes following IL-5 stimulation. However, a complete understanding of the role of βc ubiquitination in IL-5R biology is currently lacking. By using a well established, stably transduced HEK293 cell model system, we show here that in the absence of ubiquitination, βc subcellular localization, IL-5-induced endocytosis, turnover, and IL-5R signaling were significantly impaired. Whereas ubiquitinated IL-5Rs internalized into trafficking endosomes for their degradation, ubiquitination-deficient IL-5Rs accumulated on the cell surface and displayed blunted signaling even after IL-5 stimulation. Importantly, we identified a cluster of three membrane-proximal βc lysine residues (Lys(457), Lys(461), and Lys(467)) whose presence was required for both JAK1/2 binding to βc and receptor ubiquitination. These findings establish that JAK kinase binding to βc requires the presence of three critical βc lysine residues, and this binding event is essential for receptor ubiquitination, endocytosis, and signaling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Cytokine Receptor Common beta Subunit / genetics
  • Cytokine Receptor Common beta Subunit / metabolism*
  • Endocytosis / physiology*
  • Endosomes / genetics
  • Endosomes / metabolism
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Janus Kinase 1 / genetics
  • Janus Kinase 1 / metabolism*
  • Janus Kinase 2 / genetics
  • Janus Kinase 2 / metabolism*
  • Lysine / genetics
  • Lysine / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding / physiology
  • Protein Transport / physiology
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Ubiquitination / physiology*


  • CSF2RB protein, human
  • Cytokine Receptor Common beta Subunit
  • JAK1 protein, human
  • Janus Kinase 1
  • Janus Kinase 2
  • Lysine