The proliferation and differentiation of cells of many lineages are regulated by secreted proteins known as cytokines. Cytokines exert their biological effect through binding to cell-surface receptors that are associated with one or more members of the JAK family of cytoplasmic tyrosine kinases. Cytokine-induced receptor dimerization leads to the activation of JAKs, rapid tyrosine-phosphorylation of the cytoplasmic domains, and subsequent recruitment of various signaling proteins, including members of the STAT family of transcription factors, to the receptor complex. Using the yeast two-hybrid system, we have now isolated a new SH2-domain-containing protein, JAB, which is a JAK-binding protein that interacts with the Jak2 tyrosine-kinase JH1 domain. JAB is structurally related to CIS, a cytokine- inducible SH2 protein. Interaction of JAB with Jak1, Jak2 or Jak3 markedly reduces their tyrosine-kinase activity and suppresses the tyrosine- phosphorylation and activation of STATs. JAB and CIS appear to function as negative regulators in the JAK signalling pathway.
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