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J Biol Chem. 2002 Nov 29;277(48):46073-8. Epub 2002 Sep 26.

Kinetic analysis of the interleukin-13 receptor complex.

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  • 1Infection, Inflammation and Repair Division, School of Medicine, University of Southampton, 97 Tremona Rd., Southampton General Hospital, Southampton SO16 6YD, United Kingdom.


Interleukin (IL)-13 is a key cytokine associated with the asthmatic phenotype. It signals via its cognate receptor, a complex of IL-13 receptor alpha1 chain (IL-13Ralpha1) with IL-4Ralpha; however, a second protein, IL-13Ralpha2, also binds IL-13. To determine the binding contributions of the individual components of the IL-13 receptor to IL-13, we have employed surface plasmon resonance and equilibrium binding assays to investigate the ligand binding characteristics of shIL-13Ralpha1, shIL-13Ralpha2, and IL-4Ralpha. shIL-13Ralpha1 bound IL-13 with moderate affinity (K(D) = 37.8 +/- 1.8 nm, n = 10), whereas no binding was observed for hIL-4Ralpha. In contrast, shIL-13Ralpha2 produced a high affinity interaction with IL-13 (K(D) = 2.49 +/- 0.94 nm n = 10). IL-13Ralpha2 exhibited the binding characteristics of a negative regulator with a fast association rate and an exceptional slow dissociation rate. Although IL-13 interacted weakly with IL-4Ralpha on its own (K(D) > 50 microm), the presence of hIL-4Ralpha significantly increased the affinity of shIL-13Ralpha1 for IL-13 but had no effect on the binding affinity of IL-13Ralpha2. Detailed kinetic analyses of the binding properties of the heteromeric complexes suggested a sequential mechanism for the binding of IL-13 to its signaling receptor, in which IL-13 first binds to IL-13Ralpha1 and this then recruits IL-4Ralpha to stabilize a high affinity interaction.

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