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J Immunol. 1998 Dec 15;161(12):6871-7.

The type II IL-1 receptor interacts with the IL-1 receptor accessory protein: a novel mechanism of regulation of IL-1 responsiveness.

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  • 1Molekularpharmakologie, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Germany.


IL-1 binds to two types of receptors on the cell membrane, of which only type I (IL-1RI) transduces signals in concert with the coreceptor IL-1 receptor accessory protein (IL-1RAcP) while type II (IL-1RII) allegedly functions solely as ligand sink and decoy receptor without participating in IL-1 signaling. To investigate the regulatory role of IL-1RII on IL-1 responsiveness, a chimeric receptor encompassing the extracellular and transmembrane portions of IL-1RII and the cytoplasmic signal-transducing domain of IL-1RI was transfected into two murine EL-4-derived sublines that do or do not express IL-1RAcP, respectively. The chimeric receptor was able to transduce the IL-1 signal and induce IL-2 production only in the cell line which expressed IL-1RAcP, suggesting effective interaction between the extracellular domains of IL-1RII and IL-1RAcP in the presence of IL-1. The physical association of ligated IL-1RII with IL-1RAcP was proven by crosslinking experiments with radio-iodinated IL-1 and subsequent immunoprecipitations in normal human B cells and in EL-4 D6/76 cells transiently cotransfected with IL-1RII and IL-1RAcP, respectively. Based on these findings, it is proposed that upon IL-1 binding IL-1RII can recruit IL-1RAcP into a nonfunctional trimeric complex and thus modulate IL-1 signaling by subtracting the coreceptor molecule from the signaling IL-1RI. In this novel mechanism of coreceptor competition, the ratio between IL-1RII and IL-1RI becomes the central factor in determining the IL-1 responsiveness of a cell and the availability of IL-1RAcP becomes limiting for effective IL-1 signaling.

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