The biological effects of interferon gamma (IFNgamma) are mediated by interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs), many of which are activated downstream of Janus kinase (JAK)/signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1) signaling. Herein we have shown that IFNgamma rapidly activated AP-1 DNA binding that required c-Jun but was independent of JAK1 and STAT1. IFNgamma-induced c-Jun phosphorylation and AP-1 DNA binding required the MEK1/2 and ERK1/2 signaling pathways, whereas the JNK1/2 and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways were dispensable. The induction of several ISGs, including ifi-205 and iNOS, was impaired in IFNgamma-treated c-Jun-/- cells, but others, such as IP-10 and SOCS3, were unaffected, and chromatin immunoprecipitation demonstrated that c-Jun binds to the iNOS promoter following treatment with IFNgamma. Thus, IFNgamma induced JAK1- and STAT1-independent activation of the ERK mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway, phosphorylation of c-Jun, and activation of AP-1 DNA binding, which are important for the induction of a subset of ISGs. This represents a novel signal transduction pathway induced by IFNgamma that proceeds in parallel with conventional JAK/STAT signaling to activate ISGs.
Gough, D. J., Sabapathy, K., Ko, E. Y-N., Arthur, H. A., Schreiber, R. D., Trapani, J. A., Clarke, C. J. P., & Johnstone, R. W. (2007). A novel c-Jun-dependent signal transduction pathway necessary for the transcriptional activation of interferon gamma response genes. The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 282(2), 938 - 946. https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M607674200