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The First α Helix of Interleukin (Il)-2 Folds as a Homotetramer, Acts as an Agonist of the IL-2 Receptor β Chain, and Induces Lymphokine-Activated Killer Cells

Abstract : Interleukin (IL)-2 interacts with two types of functional receptors (IL-2Ralphabetagamma and IL-2Rbetagamma) and acts on a broad range of target cells involved in inflammatory reactions and immune responses. For the first time, we show that a chemically synthesized fragment of the IL-2 sequence can fold into a molecule mimicking the quaternary structure of a hemopoietin. Indeed, peptide p1-30 (containing amino acids 1-30, covering the entire alpha helix A of IL-2) spontaneously folds into an alpha-helical homotetramer and stimulates the growth of T cell lines expressing human IL-2Rbeta, whereas shorter versions of the peptide lack helical structure and are inactive. We also demonstrate that this neocytokine interacts with a previously undescribed dimeric form of IL-2Rbeta. In agreement with its binding to IL-2Rbeta, p1-30 activates Shc and p56(lck) but unlike IL-2, fails to activate Janus kinase (Jak)1, Jak3, and signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 (STAT5). Unexpectedly, we also show that p1-30 activates Tyk2, thus suggesting that IL-2Rbeta may bind to different Jaks depending on its oligomerization. At the cellular level, p1-30 induces lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells and preferentially activates CD8(low) lymphocytes and natural killer cells, which constitutively express IL-2Rbeta. A significant interferon gamma production is also detected after p1-30 stimulation. A mutant form of p1-30 (Asp20-->Lys), which is likely unable to induce vascular leak syndrome, remains capable of generating LAK cells, like the original p1-30 peptide. Altogether, our data suggest that p1-30 has therapeutic potential.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, February 17, 2021 - 7:03:13 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, April 8, 2021 - 12:14:32 PM

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Ralph Eckenberg, Thierry Rose, Jean-Louis Moreau, Robert Weil, Franck Gesbert, et al.. The First α Helix of Interleukin (Il)-2 Folds as a Homotetramer, Acts as an Agonist of the IL-2 Receptor β Chain, and Induces Lymphokine-Activated Killer Cells. Journal of Experimental Medicine, Rockefeller University Press, 2000, 191 (3), pp.529-540. ⟨10.1084/jem.191.3.529⟩. ⟨pasteur-03144737⟩

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