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J Immunol. 1986 Nov 15;137(10):3354-60.

Alterations in the amino-terminal third of mouse interleukin 2: effects on biological activity and immunoreactivity.


In this report, we describe plasmids that direct the expression of active mouse interleukin 2 (mIL 2) in Escherichia coli, and the use of this expression system to perform a mutational analysis of the N-terminal region of the mIL 2 protein. We found that the N-terminus was tolerant to the addition of a few amino acids, and even the addition of 20 amino acids resulted in only a modest decrease in activity of the protein. The bioactivity of mIL 2 as defined by its ability to sustain the proliferation of cloned T cells was also only minimally affected by deletion of up to 13 N-terminal amino acids, or of the entire poly-GLN stretch (amino acids 15-26). Deletion of the 30 N-terminal amino acids drastically reduced but did not abolish activity. Deletion of the 41 N-terminal amino acids completely abolished activity, whereas certain changes in the initial 37 amino acids drastically reduced the biological activity of the protein. We also analyzed the immunoreactivity of the mutant proteins with the anti-IL 2 monoclonal antibodies S4B6 and DMS-1. This analysis showed that the determinant recognized by S4B6 required that the N-terminal mIL 2 amino acids 26-45 be intact, whereas the DMS-1 determinant was located to the C-terminal side of amino acid 46.

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