Glycosylation-Dependent IFN-γR Partitioning in Lipid and Actin Nanodomains Is Critical for JAK Activation

Cell. 2016 Aug 11;166(4):920-934. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.07.003. Epub 2016 Aug 4.


Understanding how membrane nanoscale organization controls transmembrane receptors signaling activity remains a challenge. We studied interferon-γ receptor (IFN-γR) signaling in fibroblasts from homozygous patients with a T168N mutation in IFNGR2. By adding a neo-N-glycan on IFN-γR2 subunit, this mutation blocks IFN-γ activity by unknown mechanisms. We show that the lateral diffusion of IFN-γR2 is confined by sphingolipid/cholesterol nanodomains. In contrast, the IFN-γR2 T168N mutant diffusion is confined by distinct actin nanodomains where conformational changes required for Janus-activated tyrosine kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription (JAK/STAT) activation by IFN-γ could not occur. Removing IFN-γR2 T168N-bound galectins restored lateral diffusion in lipid nanodomains and JAK/STAT signaling in patient cells, whereas adding galectins impaired these processes in control cells. These experiments prove the critical role of dynamic receptor interactions with actin and lipid nanodomains and reveal a new function for receptor glycosylation and galectins. Our study establishes the physiological relevance of membrane nanodomains in the control of transmembrane receptor signaling in vivo. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actins / chemistry
  • Actins / metabolism
  • Animals
  • COS Cells
  • Cell Membrane / chemistry
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Diffusion
  • Endocytosis
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism*
  • Glycosylation
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism
  • Mutation, Missense*
  • Mycobacterium Infections / genetics
  • Mycobacterium Infections / immunology
  • Receptors, Interferon / chemistry
  • Receptors, Interferon / genetics*
  • Receptors, Interferon / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction*


  • Actins
  • IFNGR2 protein, human
  • Receptors, Interferon
  • Interferon-gamma