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Blood. 1999 Mar 15;93(6):1980-91.

Interferon-alpha activates multiple STAT proteins and upregulates proliferation-associated IL-2Ralpha, c-myc, and pim-1 genes in human T cells.

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  • 1Department of Virology, National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland. sampsa.matikainen@ktl.fi

Abstract

Interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha) is a pleiotropic cytokine that has antiviral, antiproliferative, and immunoregulatory functions. There is increasing evidence that IFN-alpha has an important role in T-cell biology. We have analyzed the expression of IL-2Ralpha, c-myc, and pim-1 genes in anti-CD3-activated human T lymphocytes. The induction of these genes is associated with interleukin-2 (IL-2)-induced T-cell proliferation. Treatment of T lymphocytes with IFN-alpha, IL-2, IL-12, and IL-15 upregulated IL-2Ralpha, c-myc, and pim-1 gene expression. IFN-alpha also sensitized T cells to IL-2-induced proliferation, further suggesting that IFN-alpha may be involved in the regulation of T-cell mitogenesis. When we analyzed the nature of STAT proteins capable of binding to IL-2Ralpha, pim-1, and IRF-1 GAS elements after cytokine stimulation, we observed IFN-alpha-induced binding of STAT1, STAT3, and STAT4, but not STAT5 to all of these elements. Yet, IFN-alpha was able to activate binding of STAT5 to the high-affinity IFP53 GAS site. IFN-alpha enhanced tyrosine phosphorylation of STAT1, STAT3, STAT4, STAT5a, and STAT5b. IL-12 induced STAT4 and IL-2 and IL-15 induced STAT5 binding to the GAS elements. Taken together, our results suggest that IFN-alpha, IL-2, IL-12, and IL-15 have overlapping activities on human T cells. These findings thus emphasize the importance of IFN-alpha as a T-cell regulatory cytokine.

PMID:
10068671
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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