Assembly and mutual proximities of α, β, and γ(c) subunits of the interleukin 2 receptors (IL-2R) in plasma membranes of Kit 225 K6 T lymphoma cells were investigated by fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) using fluorescein isothiocyanate- and Cy3-conjugated monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that were directed against the IL-2Rα, IL-2Rβ, and γ(c) subunits of IL-2R. The cell-surface distribution of subunits was analyzed at the nanometer scale (2-10 nm) by FRET on a cell-by-cell basis. The cells were probed in resting phase and after coculture with saturating concentrations of IL-2, IL-7, and IL-15. FRET data from donor- and acceptor-labeled IL-2Rβ- α, γ-α, and γ-β pairs demonstrated close proximity of all subunits to each other in the plasma membrane of resting T cells. These mutual proximities do not appear to represent mAb-induced microaggregation, because FRET measurements with Fab fragments of the mAbs gave similar results. The relative proximities were meaningfully modulated by binding of IL-2, IL-7, and IL-15. Based on FRET analysis the topology of the three subunits at the surface of resting cells can be best described by a 'triangular model' in the absence of added interleukins. IL-2 strengthens the bridges between the subunits, making the triangle more compact. IL-7 and IL-15 act in the opposite direction by opening the triangle possibly because they associate their private specific a receptors with the β and/or γ(c) subunits of the IL-2R complex. These data suggest that IL-2R subunits are already colocalized in resting T cells and do not require cytokine-induced redistribution. This colocalization is significantly modulated by binding of relevant interleukins in a cytokine-specific manner.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 25 1997|
- Cell activation
- Cytokine binding
- Receptor assembly
ASJC Scopus subject areas