Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 11502078
Cell. Mol. Biol. (Noisy-le-grand) 2001 Jun;47(4):703-7
Human interleukin-2 (IL-2) interacts with two types of functional receptors (IL-2R alpha betagamma and IL-2R betagamma) and acts on a broad range of target cells involved in inflammatory reactions and immune responses. IL-2 is also used in different clinical trials aimed at improving the treatment of some cancers and the recovery of CD4 lymphocytes by HIV patients. The therapeutic index of IL-2 is limited by various side effects dominated by the vascular leak syndrome. We have shown that a chemically synthesised fragment of the IL-2 sequence can fold into a helical tetramer likely mimicking the quatemary structure of an hemopoietin. Indeed, peptide p1-30 (containing amino acids 1 to 30, including the sequence corresponding to 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-2R beta, whereas shorter versions of the peptide lack helical structure and are inactive. 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-2R beta. A significant IFN-gamma production is also detected following p1-30 stimulation. A mutant form of p1-30 (Asp20–>Lys) which is likely unable to induce vascular leak syndrome remains capable to generate LAK cells like the original p1-30 peptide. Altogether our data suggest that p1-30 has therapeutic potential.