Mechanism of STAT3 activation by insulin-like growth factor I receptor.
Recent evidence indicates that STAT proteins can be activated by a variety of receptor and non-receptor protein-tyrosine kinases. Unlike cytokine-induced activation of STATs, where JAKs are known to play a pivotal role in phosphorylating STATs, the mechanism for receptor protein-tyrosine kinase-mediated activation of STATs remains elusive. In this study, we investigated the activation of STAT proteins by the insulin-like growth factor I receptor (IGF-IR) in vitro and in vivo and assessed the role of JAKs in the process of activation. We found that STAT3, but not STAT5, was activated in response to IGF-I in 293T cells cotransfected with IGF-IR and STAT expression vectors. Moreover, tyrosine phosphorylation of STAT3, JAK1, and JAK2 was increased upon IGF-I stimulation of endogenous IGF-IR in 293T cells transfected with the respective STAT or JAK expression vector. Supporting the observation in 293T cells, endogenous STAT3 was tyrosine-phosphorylated upon IGF-I stimulation in the muscle cell line C2C12 as well as in various embryonic and adult mouse organs during different stages of development. Dominant-negative JAK1 or JAK2 was able to block the IGF-IR-mediated tyrosine phosphorylation of STAT3 in 293T cells. A newly identified family of proteins called SOCS (suppressor of cytokine signaling), including SOCS1, SOCS2, SOCS3 and CIS, was able to inhibit the IGF-I-induced STAT3 activation as well with varying degrees of potency, in which SOCS1 and SOCS3 appeared to have the higher inhibitory ability. Inhibition of STAT3 activation by SOCS could be overcome by overexpression of native JAK1 and JAK2. We conclude that IGF-I/IGF-IR is able to mediate activation of STAT3 in vitro and in vivo and that JAKs are essential for the process of activation.