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EMBO J. 1989 Mar;8(3):757-64.

ATL-derived factor (ADF), an IL-2 receptor/Tac inducer homologous to thioredoxin; possible involvement of dithiol-reduction in the IL-2 receptor induction.

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Institute for Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto University, Japan.


HTLV-I transformed T cells not only express a large number of interleukin-2 receptors [IL-2R/p55(Tac)], but also produce a factor named ATL-derived factor (ADF) that augments the expression of IL-2R/p55(Tac). Based on a partial N-terminal amino acid sequence, complementary DNA (cDNA) clones for human and mouse ADF were isolated and sequenced. Recombinant ADF produced by COS-7 monkey kidney cells showed IL-2R/Tac inducing activity on YT cells, which are sensitive for ADF. ADF mRNA was strongly expressed in HTLV-I(+) T cells lines, but not in inactivated cells (THP-1, unstimulated PBMC). Furthermore, in normal human peripheral blood mononuclear cells, the expression of ADF mRNA was enhanced by mitogens or phorbol myristate acetate, suggesting a possible involvement of ADF in the lymphocyte activation. Homology analysis revealed an unexpected relationship between ADF and dithiol-reducing enzyme, thioredoxin, involved in many important biological reactions such as the conversion of ribonucleotides into deoxyribonucleotides, or the stabilization of glucocorticoid receptors. The biological significance of the generation of a redox potential in lymphocyte activation, and the possible involvement of dithiol reduction in the induction of IL-2R/Tac are discussed.

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