The expression of the interleukin-2 receptor (IL-2-R) is regulated by transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms. IL-2-R gene expression is induced by pharmacological agents including calcium ions, phorbol esters such as phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) and forskolin (FK), a direct activator of adenylate cyclase. HTLV-I(+) leukemic T cells and T cell lines from patients with adult T cell leukemia (ATL) continuously expressed IL-2-R without production of IL-2. However, there was no abnormality of the structural gene for IL-2- R in these cell lines as well as in fresh leukemiccells of ATL. We have detected that many HTLV-I(+) T4(+) T cell lines constitutively produce a non-IL-2 lymphokine named ATL-derived factor (ADF), which inducedthe expression of the high-affinity IL-2-R on a variety of cells including HTLV-I(+) T cells, myeloid leukemia cells and YT cells. IL-2-R-inducing agents such as ADF and FK were shown to induce elevation of the mRNA levels for IL-2-R through transcriptional enhancement of the IL-2-R gene. The possible involvement of IL-2-R- inducing cytokines in the physiological lymphocyte activation and the leukemogenesis in ATL and other T cell leukemias is discussed.
- Adult T cell leukemia
- Adult T cell leukemia-derived factor
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