Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Interleukin-2 (IL-2) is important for autocrine cell cycle progression, and plays a major role in the paracrine and endocrine regulation of immune responses. In vitro analysis for IL-2 production demonstrated that the bulk of T cells heterozygous (+/-) for a deficient IL-2 gene produced only half as much cytokine in comparison to wild-type (+/+) T cells. Subsequent studies at a single cell level revealed that only every other +/- T cell produced IL-2 but did so as efficiently as +/+ T cells. To further investigate whether IL-2 transcription is mono-allelic we performed single cell analysis on T cells of F1 (M. musculus x M. spretus) mice. Using RT-PCR for strain-specific differences, we demonstrated that only one but not both alleles are transcribed in a single cell upon activation. Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) of +/+ T cells in S phase of the cell cycle revealed further an asynchronous replication of the IL-2 allele, a hallmark of allelic silencing. Taken together, these results demonstrate an allele-specific restriction in IL-2 gene transcription. Our findings detail a novel mechanism for the control of a non-imprinted, autosomal, non-receptor molecule. This transcriptional control may provide an additional fail-safe device to assure precise regulation of IL-2 production.

Type

Journal article

Journal

FASEB Journal

Publication Date

20/03/1998

Volume

12