Several growth factors activate signal transducers and activators of transcription (Stats) but the mechanism of Stat activation in receptor tyrosine kinase signalling has remained elusive. In the present study we have analysed the roles of different platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-induced tyrosine kinases in the activation of Stat5. Co-expression experiments in insect and mammalian cells demonstrated that both PDGF β-receptor (PDGF β-R) and Jak1, but not c-Src, induced the activation of Stat5. Furthermore, immune-complex-purified PDGF β-R was able to phosphorylate Stat5 directly. The role of the cytoplasmic tyrosine kinases in the PDGF-induced activation of Stat5 was further investigated by overexpressing kinase-negative (KN) and wild-type Jak and c-Src kinases. Jak1-KN or Jak2-KN had no effect but both Src-KN and wild-type c-Src similarly decreased the PDGF-β-R-induced activation of Stat5. The activation of both Src and Stat5 is dependent on the same tyrosine residues Tyr579 and Tyr581 in PDGF β-R; thus the observed inhibition by Src might result from competition for binding of Stat5 to the receptor. Finally, fibroblasts derived from Src-/- and Fyn-/- mice showed normal pattern of PDGF-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of Stat5. Taken together, these results indicate that Stat5 is a direct substrate for PDGF β-R and that the activation does not require Jak1, Jak2, c-Src or Fyn tyrosine kinases.

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