The interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) receptor: a paradigm for the multichain cytokine receptor

Cytokine Growth Factor Rev. 1997 Sep;8(3):189-206. doi: 10.1016/s1359-6101(97)00009-9.


With the purification and cloning of the interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) receptor chains the mechanism of IFN-gamma action and the resultant signal transduction events were delineated in remarkable detail. The interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) receptor complex consists of two chains: IFN-gammaR1, the ligand-binding chain, and IFN-gammaR2, the accessory chain. Binding of IFN-gamma causes oligomerization of the two IFN-gamma receptor subunits, IFN-gammaR1 and IFN-gammaR2, which initiates the signal transduction events: activation of Jak1 and Jak2 receptor associated protein tyrosine kinases, phosphorylation of the IFN-gammaR1 intracellular domain on Tyr440 followed by phosphorylation and activation of Stat1alpha, the latent transcriptional factor. With all these steps established, the IFN-gamma receptor complex has provided the basic model for understanding the receptors for other members of the family of class II cytokine receptors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Receptors, Interferon / genetics*
  • Receptors, Interferon / physiology*


  • Receptors, Interferon
  • Interferon-gamma