Activators of protein kinase C and 5-azacytidine induce IL-2 receptor expression on human T lymphocytes

J Cell Biochem. 1985;27(3):267-76. doi: 10.1002/jcb.240270308.


Resting human T lymphocytes do not express receptors for interleukin-2, but expression is rapidly induced by exposure to PHA. After maximal expression 2-3 days after stimulation, a progressive decline in receptor number is observed. Receptor expression can be augmented by reexposure to PHA. In this study we show that activators of protein kinase C including phorbol diester, phospholipase C, and the diacylglycerol congener diC8 also increase IL-2 receptor expression. Moreover, 5-azacytidine, which inhibits cytosine methyltransferase, and hydroxyurea, which inhibits ribonucleotide reductase, also increased receptor number. These studies demonstrate that IL-2 receptor expression can be altered in vitro, and that IL-2 receptor number, in combination with IL-2 secretion, may contribute to the regulation of IL-2-dependent immune responses.

MeSH terms

  • Azacitidine / pharmacology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • DNA / metabolism
  • Enzyme Activation / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Methylation
  • Phytohemagglutinins / pharmacology
  • Protein Kinase C
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Immunologic / drug effects
  • Receptors, Immunologic / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate / pharmacology
  • Type C Phospholipases / pharmacology


  • Phytohemagglutinins
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2
  • DNA
  • Protein Kinases
  • Protein Kinase C
  • Type C Phospholipases
  • Azacitidine
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate