Nanometer-scale organization of the alpha subunits of the receptors for IL2 and IL15 in human T lymphoma cells

B.I. de Bakker, Andrea Bodnar, E.M.H.P. van Dijk, Gyorgy Vamosi, Sandor Damjanovich, Thomas A. Waldmann, N.F. van Hulst, Attila Jenei, M.F. Garcia Parajo

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Interleukin 2 and interleukin 15 (IL2 and IL15, respectively) provide quite distinct contributions to T-cell-mediated immunity, despite having similar receptor composition and signaling machinery. As most of the proposed mechanisms underlying this apparent paradox attribute key significance to the individual -chains of IL2 and IL15 receptors, we investigated the spatial organization of the receptors IL2R and IL15R at the nanometer scale expressed on a human CD4+ leukemia T cell line using single-molecule-sensitive near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM). In agreement with previous findings, we here confirm clustering of IL2R and IL15R at the submicron scale. In addition to clustering, our single-molecule data reveal that a non-negligible percentage of the receptors are organized as monomers. Only a minor fraction of IL2R molecules reside outside the clustered domains, whereas 30% of IL15R molecules organize as monomers or small clusters, excluded from the main domain regions. Interestingly, we also found that the packing densities per unit area of both IL2R and IL15R domains remained constant, suggesting a `building block' type of assembly involving repeated structures and composition. Finally, dual-color NSOM demonstrated co-clustering of the two -chains. Our results should aid understanding the action of the IL2R-IL15R system in T cell function and also might contribute to the more rationale design of IL2R- or IL15R-targeted immunotherapy agents for treating human leukemia.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)627-633
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of cell science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • IR-75533
  • METIS-247763

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