Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. John Ryan

Second Advisor

Dr. Daniel Conrad

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Diegelmann

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Andrew Larner

Fifth Advisor

Dr. David Strauss


Signal Transducers and Activators of Transcription (STATs) are latent transcription factors that mediate several cellular responses. This protein family consists of seven members, STAT1 – 6 including two closely related molecules, STAT5a and STAT5b, that show 96% amino acid sequence homology and are critical for lymphoid, myeloid and erythroid cell development and function. Activated STAT proteins dimerize and translocate to the nucleus, where they bind to high-affinity DNA motifs to modulate gene expression. We recently identified STAT5b as the critical regulator of IgE-mediated cytokine production in mast cells. STAT5b knockout (KO) cells show decreased sensitivity to IgE-mediated passive systemic anaphylaxis accompanied with decreased production of IL-6 and IL-13 compared to wild type counterparts. Interestingly, STAT5b KO mice demonstrated elevated levels of serum IgE but a normal response to histamine-mediated passive systemic anaphylaxis. The current work demonstrates that STAT5b regulates mast cell function both in vivo and in vitro.

Additionally, activated STAT proteins can also form tetramers through an N-terminal domain-mediated oligomerization process when bound to low-affinity tandem motifs. Dr. Warren Leonard’s laboratory generated STAT5a-STAT5b double knock-in (DKI) mice in which STAT5 proteins are phosphorylated and can form dimers but not tetramers. We have now found that bone marrow-derived mast cells from STAT5 DKI mice are defective in IgE-induced cytokine and chemokine production and exhibit defective stem cell factor (SCF)-induced migration and survival responses in vitro. Similarly, IgE-mediated passive systemic anaphylaxis is decreased in STAT5 DKI mice. These data indicate that Stat5 tetramers are critical for some aspects of mast cell function in allergic and inflammatory disease.


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission


Available for download on Saturday, December 07, 2024


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