Stress-induced phosphorylation of STAT1 at Ser727 requires p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase whereas IFN-γ uses a different signaling pathway

Pavel Kovarik, Dagmar Stoiber, Patrick A. Eyers, Rossella Menghini, Armin Neininger, Matthias Gaestel, Philip Cohen, Thomas Decker (Lead / Corresponding author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    231 Citations (Scopus)


    STAT1 is an essential transcription factor for macrophage activation by IFN-γ and requires phosphorylation of the C-terminal Ser727 for transcriptional activity. In macrophages, Ser727 phosphorylation in response to bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS), UV irradiation, or TNF-α occurred through a signaling path sensitive to the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MARK) inhibitor SB203580 whereas IFN-γ-mediated Ser727 phosphorylation was not inhibited by the drug. Consistently, SB203580 did not affect IFN-γ-mediated, Stat1-dependent transcription but inhibited its enhancement by LPS. Furthermore, LPS, UV irradiation, and TNF-α caused activation of p38 MAPK whereas IFN-γ did not. An essential role for p38 MAPK activity in STAT1 Ser727 phosphorylation was confirmed by using cells expressing an SB203580-resistant p38 MAPK. In such cells, STAT1 Ser727 phosphorylation in response to UV irradiation was found to be SB203580 insensitive. Targeted disruption of the mapkap-k2 gene, encoding a kinase downstream of p38 MAPK with a key role in LPS-stimulated TNF-α production and stress-induced heat shock protein 25 phosphorylation, was without a significant effect on UV-mediated Ser727 phosphorylation. The recombinant Stat1 C terminus was phosphorylated in vitro by p38MAPKα and β but not by MAPK-activated protein kinase 2. Janus kinase 2 activity, previously reported to be required for IFN-γ-mediated Ser727 phosphorylation, was not needed for LPS-mediated Ser727 phosphorylation, and activation of Janus kinase 2 did not cause the appearance of STAT1 Ser727 kinase activity. Our data suggest that STAT1 is phosphorylated at Ser727 by a stress-activated signaling pathway either through p38 MAPK directly or through an unidentified kinase downstream of P38MAPK.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)13956-13961
    Number of pages6
    JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
    Issue number24
    Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 1999

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General


    Dive into the research topics of 'Stress-induced phosphorylation of STAT1 at Ser727 requires p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase whereas IFN-γ uses a different signaling pathway'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this