Signaling from the IL-2 receptor to the nucleus

Cytokine Growth Factor Rev. 1997 Dec;8(4):313-32. doi: 10.1016/s1359-6101(97)00021-x.


Interleukin-2 has pleiotropic actions on the immune system and plays a vital role in the modulation of immune responses. Our current understanding of IL-2 signaling has resulted from in vitro studies that have identified the signaling pathways activated by IL-2, including the Jak-STAT pathways, and from in vivo studies that have analyzed mice in which IL-2, each chain of the receptor, as well a number of signaling molecules have been individually targeted by homologous recombination. Moreover, mutations in IL-2Ralpha, gamma(c) and Jak3 have been found in patients with severe combined immunodeficiency. In addition, with the discovery that two components of the receptor, IL-2Rbeta and gamma(c), are shared by other cytokine receptors, we have an enhanced appreciation of the contributions of these molecules towards cytokine specificity, pleiotropy and redundancy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing*
  • Adaptor Proteins, Vesicular Transport*
  • Animals
  • Cell Nucleus / immunology
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Endosomal Sorting Complexes Required for Transport
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Phenotype
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / metabolism
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / metabolism
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2 / chemistry
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2 / genetics
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2 / physiology*
  • Shc Signaling Adaptor Proteins
  • Signal Transduction / immunology*
  • Src Homology 2 Domain-Containing, Transforming Protein 1
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Adaptor Proteins, Vesicular Transport
  • Endosomal Sorting Complexes Required for Transport
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Proteins
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2
  • SHC1 protein, human
  • STAM protein, human
  • Shc Signaling Adaptor Proteins
  • Shc1 protein, mouse
  • Src Homology 2 Domain-Containing, Transforming Protein 1
  • Stam protein, mouse
  • Transcription Factors
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases