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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Heterodimerization of the IL-2 receptor beta- and gamma-chain cytoplasmic domains is required for signalling.

The interaction of interleukin-2 ( IL-2) and IL-2 receptors critically regulates the T-cell immune response following antigen activation. IL-2 can signal through high or intermediate affinity receptors which contain IL-2R alpha (refs 3, 4) +beta (refs 5-8) +gamma (ref. 9) or beta+gamma chains, respectively. IL-2R gamma is a common gamma chain, gamma c, also shared by the IL-7 (ref. 10) and IL-4 (refs 11, 12) receptors, which when mutated results in X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency. Using chimaeric receptor constructs together with monoclonal or bispecific antibodies we demonstrate here that IL-2 signalling requires ligand-induced extracellular-domain-mediated heterodimerization of the beta- and gamma c-chain cytoplasmic domains. Anti-IL-2R alpha monoclonal antibodies trigger proliferation of cells transfected with chimaeric constructs in which the extracellular domains of IL-2R beta and gamma c are replaced by that of IL-2R alpha. Other experiments using chimaeric constructs indicated that IL-2 binds monomerically and monovalently to IL-2R alpha and that the beta-transmembrane domain is not required for receptor chain interactions. Finally, we provide a method for mapping residues in the gamma c cytoplasmic domain even in cells that constitutively express gamma c.[1]


  1. Heterodimerization of the IL-2 receptor beta- and gamma-chain cytoplasmic domains is required for signalling. Nakamura, Y., Russell, S.M., Mess, S.A., Friedmann, M., Erdos, M., Francois, C., Jacques, Y., Adelstein, S., Leonard, W.J. Nature (1994) [Pubmed]
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