The transition from interleukin-2 (IL-2)-dependent to IL-2-independent growth is considered one of the key steps in the transformation of human T-cell leukemia virus type-I (HTLV-I)-infected T cells. The expression of thioredoxin-binding protein-2 (TBP-2) is lost during the transition of HTLV-I-infected T-cell lines. Here, we analysed the mechanism of loss of TBP-2 expression and the role of TBP-2 in IL-2-dependent growth in the in vitro model to investigate multistep transformation of HTLV-I. CpGs in the TBP-2 gene are methylated in IL-2-independent but not in IL-2-dependent cells. Sequential treatment with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine and a histone deacetylase inhibitor augmented histone acetylation and TBP-2 expression, suggesting that loss of TBP-2 expression is due to DNA methylation and histone deacetylation. In IL-2-dependent cells, a basal level of TBP-2 expression was maintained by IL-2 associated with cellular growth, whereas TBP-2 expression was upregulated on deprivation of IL-2 associated with growth suppression. Overexpression of TBP-2 in IL-2-independent cells suppressed the growth and partially restored responsiveness to IL-2. Knockdown of TBP-2 caused the IL-2-dependent cells to show partial growth without IL-2. These results suggested that epigenetic silencing of the TBP-2 gene results in a loss of responsiveness to IL-2, contributing to uncontrolled IL-2-independent growth in HTLV-I-infected T-cell lines.