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Cell. 1986 Aug 1;46(3):401-5.

Regulation of human interleukin-2 gene: functional DNA sequences in the 5' flanking region for the gene expression in activated T lymphocytes.


Interleukin-2 (IL-2) is a lymphokine that plays a crucial role in the immune system, especially in the growth control of T lymphocytes. Expression of this lymphokine is restricted to activated T lymphocytes. Here we demonstrate the presence of unique DNA sequences in the 5' flanking region of the human IL-2 gene that control induced T-cell-specific gene expression. We also show that the DNA sequences function in an orientation-independent manner and activate a heterologous promoter which is otherwise inert in induced T cells. The DNA, which spans about 200 bp, contains regions with sequence homology to LTR sequences of HTLV-III (or LAV) and the 5' upstream region of the IL-2 receptor and interferon-gamma genes.

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