Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

Four cysteine residues contribute to homodimerization of chicken interleukin-2.

Abstract

Interleukin-2 (IL-2) is a pleiotropic cytokine regulating the immune and nervous systems. Mammalian and bird IL-2s have different protein sequences, but perform similar functions. In the current study, two bands were detected by immunoblotting using an antibody against freshly purified chicken IL-2 (chIL-2). The molecular weight of the larger band was approximately twice as much of the chIL-2 monomer, although a chIL-2 complex or homodimer has never been reported. To explain this intriguing result, several dissociation reagents were used to examine the intermolecular forces between components of the proposed chIL-2 complex. It was found that intermolecular disulphide bond promotes homodimerization of chIL-2. Subsequently, mutation of Cys residues of chIL-2 revealed that mutation of all four Cys residues disrupted homodimerization, but a single, dual, or triple Cys mutation failed to disrupt homodimerization, suggesting that all four Cys residues on chIL-2 contribute to this dimerization. Functional analysis showed that both monomeric and dimeric chIL-2 consisting of either wild type or mutant chIL-2 were able to stimulate the expansion of CD4+ T cell in vivo or in vitro, and effectively bind to chIL-2 receptor. Overall, this study revealed that the recombinant chIL-2 purified from either Escherichia coli (E. coli) or Spodoptera frugiperda (Sf9) cells could homodimerize in vitro, with all four Cys residues on each chIL-2 protein contributing to this homodimerization, and dimerization and Cys mutation not impacting chIL-2 induced stimulation of chicken CD4+ T cells.