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Sci. Signal., 12 March 2013
Vol. 6, Issue 266, p. ra17
[DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2003240]


Editor's Summary

Signaling Denied by Sequestration
The {gamma}c family of cytokines, including interleukin-2 (IL-2) and IL-7, bind to receptors containing different α subunits but the same common {gamma} chain. Cotari et al. used flow cytometry to simultaneously measure {gamma}c cytokine receptor abundance and downstream signaling responses of individual mouse T cells. Whereas cells with increased abundance of the α subunit of the IL-2 receptor α (IL-2Rα) had an expected correlation with increased sensitivity to IL-2, they also exhibited an unexpected decrease in responsiveness to IL-7. Mathematical modeling predicted that increased IL-2Rα abundance would sequester the {gamma}c chain from the IL-7Rα subunit, which would decrease the sensitivity of the T cells to IL-7. Further experiments validated this prediction. Changes in IL-2Rα abundance did not affect the signaling of other {gamma}c family cytokines, which could be attributed to higher affinities between their receptor α subunits and the {gamma}c chain.

Citation: J. W. Cotari, G. Voisinne, O. E. Dar, V. Karabacak, G. Altan-Bonnet, Cell-to-Cell Variability Analysis Dissects the Plasticity of Signaling of Common {gamma} Chain Cytokines in T Cells. Sci. Signal. 6, ra17 (2013).

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