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Cell. 1986 Nov 21;47(4):609-17.

A model system for peptide hormone action in differentiation: interleukin 2 induces a B lymphoma to transcribe the J chain gene.


Physiological levels of a purified T cell hormone, interleukin 2 (IL-2), were found to stimulate a cloned murine B cell line (BCL1) to secrete pentamer IgM antibody. The peptide hormone acts at the cell surface via specific IL-2 receptors and induces changes in the 5' chromatin of the J chain gene that correlate with its transcription and with the production of the J chain protein required for pentamer IgM assembly. There was no effect of IL-2 on cell proliferation nor on mu heavy chain gene transcription. These results define a specific function for IL-2 in B cell differentiation. In addition, the IL-2/BCL1 system provides a model for examining the mechanism by which signals generated by hormone-receptor interaction are transmitted to the nucleus and regulate gene expression.

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