The unpaired-like protein 3 (Upd3) is one of the three cytokines of Drosophila melanogaster supposed to activate the JAK/STAT signaling pathway (Janus tyrosine kinases/signal transducer and activator of transcription). This activation occurs via the type-I cytokine receptor domeless, an orthologue of gp130, the common signal transducer of all four-helix bundle interleukin-6 (IL-6) type cytokines. Both receptors are known to exist as preformed dimers in the plasma membrane and initiate the acute-phase response. These facts indicate an evolutionary relation between vertebrate IL-6 and the Drosophila protein Upd3. Here we presented data which strengthen this notion. Upd3 was recombinantly expressed, a renaturation and purification protocol was established which allows to obtain high amounts of biological active protein. This protein is, like human IL-6, a monomeric-α helical cytokine, implicating that Upd3 is an "ancestor" of the four-helix bundle cytokines.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.