Targeting the IL-15 receptor with an antagonist IL-15 mutant/Fcγ2a protein blocks delayed-type hypersensitivity

Yon Su Kim, Wlodzimierz Maslinski, Xin Xiao Zheng, A. Christopher Stevens, Xian Chang Li, Gregory H. Tesch, Vicki R. Kelley, Terry B. Strom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations


Owing to shared receptor components, the biologic activities of IL-15 are similar to those of IL-2. However, the patterns of tissue expression of IL-2/IL-2Rα and IL-15/IL-15Rα differ. The development of agents targeting the receptor and signaling elements of IL-15 may provide a new perspective for treatment of diseases associated with expression of IL-15/IL-15R. We designed, genetically constructed, and expressed a receptor site-specific IL- 15 antagonist by mutating glutamine residues within the C terminus of IL-15 to aspartic acid and genetically linked this mutant IL-15 to murine Fcγ2a. These mutant IL-15 proteins specifically bind to the IL-15R, competitively inhibit IL-15-triggered cell proliferation, and do not activate the STAT- signaling pathway. Because the receptor site-specific antagonist IL-15 mutant/Fcγ2a fusion proteins had a prolonged t 1/4 in vivo and the potential for destruction of IL-15R+ leukocytes, we examined the immunosuppressive activity of this agent. An IL-15 mutant/Fcγ2a fusion protein markedly attenuated Ag-specific delayed-type hypersensitivity responses and decreased leukocyte infiltration within the delayed-type hypersensitivity sites. These findings suggest that 1) IL-15/IL-15R+ cells are crucial to these T cell- dependent immune responses, and 2) treatment with IL-15 mutant/Fcγ2a protein may ameliorate T cell-dependent immune/inflammatory diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5742-5748
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number12
StatePublished - 15 Jun 1998
Externally publishedYes


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