Cytokine signal transduction and the JAK family of protein tyrosine kinases

Bioessays. 1994 May;16(5):313-20. doi: 10.1002/bies.950160505.


Cytokine receptors fall into two basic classes: those with their own intrinsic protein tyrosine kinase (PTK) domain, and those lacking a PTK domain. Nonetheless, PTK activity plays a fundamental role in the signal transduction processes lying downstream of both classes of receptor. It now seems likely that many of those cytokine receptors that lack their own PTK domain use members of the JAK family of PTKs to propagate their intracellular signals. Moreover, the involvement of the JAK kinases in a newly defined pathway which links membrane receptors directly to the activation of nuclear genes, via latent cytoplasmic transcription factors known as STATs (for Signal Transducers and Activators of Transcription), appears to be a theme common to cytokine receptors of both classes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytokines / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Janus Kinase 1
  • Janus Kinase 2
  • Models, Biological
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / genetics
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Proteins / genetics
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins*
  • Receptors, Cytokine / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • TYK2 Kinase


  • Cytokines
  • Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Receptors, Cytokine
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • JAK1 protein, human
  • JAK2 protein, human
  • Janus Kinase 1
  • Janus Kinase 2
  • TYK2 Kinase
  • TYK2 protein, human