ATL-derived factor (ADF), an IL-2 receptor/Tac inducer homologous to thioredoxin; possible involvement of dithiol-reduction in the IL-2 receptor induction

EMBO J. 1989 Mar;8(3):757-64. doi: 10.1002/j.1460-2075.1989.tb03436.x.


HTLV-I transformed T cells not only express a large number of interleukin-2 receptors [IL-2R/p55(Tac)], but also produce a factor named ATL-derived factor (ADF) that augments the expression of IL-2R/p55(Tac). Based on a partial N-terminal amino acid sequence, complementary DNA (cDNA) clones for human and mouse ADF were isolated and sequenced. Recombinant ADF produced by COS-7 monkey kidney cells showed IL-2R/Tac inducing activity on YT cells, which are sensitive for ADF. ADF mRNA was strongly expressed in HTLV-I(+) T cells lines, but not in inactivated cells (THP-1, unstimulated PBMC). Furthermore, in normal human peripheral blood mononuclear cells, the expression of ADF mRNA was enhanced by mitogens or phorbol myristate acetate, suggesting a possible involvement of ADF in the lymphocyte activation. Homology analysis revealed an unexpected relationship between ADF and dithiol-reducing enzyme, thioredoxin, involved in many important biological reactions such as the conversion of ribonucleotides into deoxyribonucleotides, or the stabilization of glucocorticoid receptors. The biological significance of the generation of a redox potential in lymphocyte activation, and the possible involvement of dithiol reduction in the induction of IL-2R/Tac are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Transformation, Viral
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Cytokines*
  • DNA / genetics
  • Disulfides / metabolism
  • Human T-lymphotropic virus 1
  • Humans
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2 / biosynthesis*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Thioredoxins / metabolism


  • Cytokines
  • Disulfides
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2
  • adult T cell leukemia-derived factor
  • Thioredoxins
  • DNA

Associated data

  • GENBANK/X77585