Structure/function analyses of IL-2 binding proteins on human B cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemias

B. Wormann, J. M. Anderson, Z. D. Ling, T. W. LeBien

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15 Scopus citations


We have studied the expression and function of interleukin-2 (IL-2) receptors on B cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemias (ALL). After incubation of B cell precursor ALL in vitro for 24 hr, 11 out of 17 leukemic bone marrow aspirates expressed the Tac/CD25 protein (> 10% positive blasts). Expression of Tac/CD25 on the leukemic cells was confirmed by two color flow cytometric analysis using anti-Tac/CD25 and anti-CALLA/CD 10 monoclonal antibodies. The molecular mass of the B cell precursor ALL Tac/CD25 protein was 55 kilodaltons (kD), identical to that on activated T cells. Binding of radiolabeled IL-2 in two leukemic bone marrow aspirates demonstrated the presence of high affinity IL-2 receptors. Cross-linking of 125l-labeled IL-2 to TPA activated B cell precursor ALL revealed the 55 kD Tac/CD25 protein and an additional protein of 75 kD. Recombinant IL-2 in concentrations of 10-1,000 U/ml had essentially no proliferative effect in 10 patients tested, whereas low molecular weight B cell growth factor (L-BCGF) induced proliferation in 8 of 10 patients. L-BCGF also induced expression of CD20 in 3 of 7 CD20 negative B cell precursor ALL. IL-2 did not induce CD20, but enhanced its expression in the 3 patients who responded to L-BCGF. We conclude that IL-2 has essentially no proliferative effect on B cell precursor ALL, despite the presence of high affinity IL-2 receptors and the presence of the IL-2 binding cell surface molecules similar to those on activated T cells. IL-2 may, however, induce a phenotypic change (CD20 acquisition) consonant with differentiation in synergy with L-BCGF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)660-666
Number of pages7
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1987


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