Send to

Choose Destination
J Biol Chem. 2018 Jan 12;293(2):403-411. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M117.805739. Epub 2017 Nov 27.

Quantitative ligand and receptor binding studies reveal the mechanism of interleukin-36 (IL-36) pathway activation.

Author information

From the AbbVie Bioresearch Center, Worcester, Illinois 01605 and
AbbVie Inc., North Chicago, Illniois 60064.
From the AbbVie Bioresearch Center, Worcester, Illinois 01605 and.


IL-36 cytokines signal through the IL-36 receptor (IL-36R) and a shared subunit, IL-1RAcP (IL-1 receptor accessory protein). The activation mechanism for the IL-36 pathway is proposed to be similar to that of IL-1 in that an IL-36R agonist (IL-36α, IL-36β, or IL-36γ) forms a binary complex with IL-36R, which then recruits IL-1RAcP. Recent studies have shown that IL-36R interacts with IL-1RAcP even in the absence of an agonist. To elucidate the IL-36 activation mechanism, we considered all possible binding events for IL-36 ligands/receptors and examined these events in direct binding assays. Our results indicated that the agonists bind the IL-36R extracellular domain with micromolar affinity but do not detectably bind IL-1RAcP. Using surface plasmon resonance (SPR), we found that IL-1RAcP also does not bind IL-36R when no agonist is present. In the presence of IL-36α, however, IL-1RAcP bound IL-36R strongly. These results suggested that the main pathway to the IL-36R·IL-36α·IL-1RAcP ternary complex is through the IL-36R·IL-36α binary complex, which recruits IL-1RAcP. We could not measure the binding affinity of IL-36R to IL-1RAcP directly, so we engineered a fragment crystallizable-linked construct to induce IL-36R·IL-1RAcP heterodimerization and predicted the binding affinity during a complete thermodynamic cycle to be 74 μm The SPR analysis also indicated that the IL-36R antagonist IL-36Ra binds IL-36R with higher affinity and a much slower off rate than the IL-36R agonists, shedding light on IL-36 pathway inhibition. Our results reveal the landscape of IL-36 ligand and receptor interactions, improving our understanding of IL-36 pathway activation and inhibition.


IL-1Rrp2; IL-36R; immunology; kinetics; protein–protein interaction; signaling; surface plasmon resonance (SPR)

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center