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Immunity. 1999 Sep;11(3):281-8.

Uncoupling IL-2 signals that regulate T cell proliferation, survival, and Fas-mediated activation-induced cell death.

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Department of Biology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena 91125, USA.


IL-2 is an important growth and survival factor for T lymphocytes but also sensitizes these cells to Fas-mediated activation-induced cell death (AICD). The molecular basis of these different effects of IL-2 was studied by introducing wild-type and mutant forms of the IL-2 receptor beta (IL-2Rbeta) chain that lacked specific signaling capacities into receptor-deficient T cells by retroviral gene transfer. Activation of Stat5 by IL-2 was found to be involved in T cell proliferation and promoted Fas ligand (FasL) expression and AICD. T cell survival was dependent on a receptor region that activated Akt and the expression of Bcl-2. Thus, distinct IL-2Rbeta chain signaling modules regulate T cell fate by stimulating growth and survival or by promoting apoptosis.

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