Transient expression of interleukin 2 (IL-2) in activated T lymphocytes may be due to transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation. As incubation of lymphocytes with the phorbol ester 12-0-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) prior to mitogenic stimulation results in decreased levels of IL-2 mRNA, we asked if IL-2 mRNA stability was affected. We found that in TPA-treated cells, IL-2 mRNA was degraded more rapidly than in untreated ones whether the mitogenic stimulus was Concanavalin A (Con A), Con A plus TPA, or TPA plus ionomycin. The degradation was blocked if the TPA pre-incubation included cycloheximide. In contrast, when TPA was included as a co-mitogen, i.e. added at the same time as the mitogen, the IL-2 mRNA levels and stability significantly increased. Compared to the levels found in Con A stimulated cells, TPA plus Con A increased IL-2 mRNA levels by as much as 20-fold and the half-life by 5-fold. TPA plus ionomycin increased the message levels at least 100-fold and half-life by nearly 10-fold. These effects on IL-2 mRNA were not general because IL-2 receptor mRNA stability was not changed even though it also is transiently expressed during the course of lymphocyte activation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy
- Molecular Biology