JAK/STAT signaling is one of the primary signaling cascades that is initiated in response to growth factors, hormones, and cytokines. Janus kinases (JAKs) are typically associated with cell surface receptors that lack kinase activity, including IFN receptors. Once activated, these surface receptors oligomerize bringing JAK proteins into close proximity where they can phosphorylate both each other and associated receptors. STAT proteins bind to the phosphorylated receptors, initiate downstream signaling and translocate to the nucleus where they bind to other nuclear cofactors and DNA to regulate expression of target genes. Four JAK family members and seven STAT family members have been identified, each of which can bind to different classes of receptors.
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