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Biochemistry. 2005 Aug 9;44(31):10696-701.

High-affinity CD25-binding IL-2 mutants potently stimulate persistent T cell growth.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Building 66-552, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts 01239, USA.


We have used directed evolution to construct IL-2 mutants that bind the IL-2 alpha receptor subunit (IL-2Ralpha, CD25) with affinities comparable to that of the IL-15-IL-15 alpha receptor subunit (IL-15Ralpha) interaction. T cells proliferate for up to 6 days following a 30 minute incubation with these IL-2 mutants, which may lead to potential applications for cancer and viral immunotherapy. Several alternative mechanisms have been proposed to explain the contrasting effects of IL-2 and IL-15 on T cell proliferation and death. These IL-2 mutants exhibit T cell growth response-receptor occupancy curves indistinguishable from that for IL-15, suggesting that much of the difference between wild-type IL-2 and IL-15 effects arises simply from their 1000-fold differing affinities for their private alpha receptor subunits.

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