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New form of interleukin-2 could be fine-tuned to fight disease

Date:
May 19, 2015
Source:
NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
Summary:
Scientists are reporting development of a new way to modify interleukin-2 (IL-2), a substance known as a cytokine that plays key roles in regulating immune system responses, in order to fine-tune its actions. Harnessing the action of IL-2 in a controllable fashion is of clinical interest with potential benefit in a range of situations, including transplantation and autoimmune disease.
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Scientists are reporting development of a new way to modify interleukin-2 (IL-2), a substance known as a cytokine that plays key roles in regulating immune system responses, in order to fine-tune its actions. Harnessing the action of IL-2 in a controllable fashion is of clinical interest with potential benefit in a range of situations, including transplantation and autoimmune disease. The modified IL-2 molecules inhibited the actions of endogenous IL-2, potentially more effectively than existing agents, as well as inhibited the actions of another interleukin, IL-15, with additional therapeutic potential. The research is published in the journal Immunity.

The principal research teams include scientists from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), Stanford University, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, with contributions from other scientists at the National Cancer Institute, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Co-senior authors of the paper were Warren J. Leonard, M.D., chief of the Laboratory of Molecular Immunology and director of the Immunology Center at NHLBI, and K. Christopher Garcia, Ph.D., professor, Stanford University School of Medicine, and investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

The scientists developed altered forms of IL-2 where activity can be tuned to either boost or block immune responses depending on the desired therapeutic application. In laboratory studies, treatment with one type of modified IL-2 prolonged survival in a mouse model of graft-versus-host disease and blocked the growth in vitro of T-cells from a patient with chronic/smoldering adult T-cell leukemia, a rare form of cancer, they note. A similar approach could potentially be used to engineer other immune-system cytokines to generate new molecules with therapeutic potential, the scientists say.


Story Source:

Materials provided by NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. K. Christopher Garcia, Ph.D et al. Antibodies to Interleukin-2 Elicit Selective T Cell Subset Potentiation through Distinct Conformational Mechanisms. Immunity, May 2015 DOI: 10.1016/j.immuni.2015.04.015

Cite This Page:

NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. "New form of interleukin-2 could be fine-tuned to fight disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 May 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150519132633.htm>.
NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. (2015, May 19). New form of interleukin-2 could be fine-tuned to fight disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150519132633.htm
NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. "New form of interleukin-2 could be fine-tuned to fight disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150519132633.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

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