Journal article Open Access
Noguchi, M.; Nakamura, Y.; Russell, S.; Ziegler, S.; Tsang, M.; Cao, X.; Leonard, W.
The interleukin-2 receptor gamma chain (IL-2R gamma) is a necessary component of functional IL-2 receptors. IL-2R gamma mutations result in X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (XSCID) in humans, a disease characterized by the presence of few or no T cells. In contrast, SCID patients with IL-2 deficiency and IL-2-deficient mice have normal numbers of T cells, suggesting that IL-2R gamma is part of more than one cytokine receptor. By using chemical cross-linking, IL-2R gamma was shown to be physically associated with the IL-7 receptor. The presence of IL-2R gamma augmented both IL-7 binding affinity and the efficiency of internalization of IL-7. These findings may help explain the defects of XSCID. Given its role in more than one cytokine receptor system, the common gamma chain (gamma c) is proposed as the designation for IL-2R gamma.