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J Immunother. 2009 Nov-Dec;32(9):887-94. doi: 10.1097/CJI.0b013e3181b528da.

Engineered interleukin-2 antagonists for the inhibition of regulatory T cells.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.

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  • J Immunother. 2010 Sep;33(7):671.


The immunosuppressive effects of CD4+ CD25 high regulatory T cells (Tregs) interfere with antitumor immune responses in cancer patients. Here, we present a novel class of engineered human interleukin (IL)-2 analogs that antagonizes the IL-2 receptor, for inhibiting regulatory T cell suppression. These antagonists have been engineered for high affinity to the alpha subunit of the IL-2 receptor and very low affinity to either the beta or gamma subunit, resulting in a signaling-deficient IL-2 analog that sequesters the IL-2 receptor alpha subunit from wild type IL-2. Two variants, "V91R" and "Q126T" with residue substitutions that disrupt the beta and gamma subunit binding interfaces, respectively, have been characterized in both a T cell line and in human primary Tregs. These mutants retain their high affinity binding to IL-2 receptor alpha subunit, but do not activate STAT5 phosphorylation or stimulate T cell growth. The 2 mutants competitively antagonize wild-type IL-2 signaling through the IL-2 receptor with similar efficacy, with inhibition constants of 183 pM for V91R and 216 pM for Q126T. Here, we present a novel approach to CD25-mediated Treg inhibition, with the use of an engineered human IL-2 analog that antagonizes the IL-2 receptor.

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