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Interleukin-6 autocrine signaling mediates melatonin MT(1/2) receptor-induced STAT3 Tyr(705) phosphorylation.

Lau, WW;Ng, JK;Lee, MM;Chan, AS;Wong, YH;

Melatonin receptors have previously been shown to elicit cellular signaling through the hematopoietic-specific G protein, G(16) . In the present study, we show that this functional coupling elicited biphasic stimulatory phosphorylation on STAT3 in recombinant MT(1) /G(16) cells and native Jurkat T cells (endogenously expressing MT(1) and G(16) ), with maximal Ser(727) phosphorylation occurring at 15min, while marked Tyr(705) phosphorylation became detectable only upon agonist treatment for 4hr or more. By employing signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) phosphorylation-resistant mutants (STAT3-Y705F and STAT3-S727A), we further showed that the receptor-mediated STAT3 phosphorylations at Ser(727) and Tyr(705) were independent of each other. Results obtained from fractionation of 2-IMT-induced cells revealed that the Ser(727) and Tyr(705) phosphorylations were spatially distinct, with the former mainly situated in mitochondria and cytosol, while the latter was predominantly located in the nucleus. Further experiments revealed that the agonist-induced STAT3 phosphorylation at Tyr(705) was significantly suppressed by pretreatment with cycloheximide (a ribosome inhibitor), suggesting that de novo protein synthesis might play a critical role for this response. Using conditioned media obtained from 2-IMT-treated MT(1) /G(16) cells, multiplex immunoassays revealed that prolonged agonist treatment led to elevated productions of IL-6, GM-CSF and CXCL-8. Antibody against IL-6, but not those for GM-CSF and CXCL-8, effectively abolished the agonist-induced STAT3 Tyr(705) phosphorylation, suggesting the involvement of IL-6 in melatonin receptor-mediated STAT3 activation. Our results demonstrate that melatonin receptor/G(16) coupling is capable of triggering the production of cytokines including IL-6, and this autocrine loop may account for the subsequent STAT3 phosphorylation at Tyr(705) .