Figure This is a crystal structure of human IL-2 as published by Arkin et al. and created using the data from Protein Data Bank (PDB: 1M47) and rendered using PyMOL.
IL-2 is a cytokine that induces the proliferation of responsive T cells. In addition, it acts on some B cells, via receptor-specific binding, as a growth factor and antibody production stimulant. The protein is secreted as a single glycosylated polypeptide, and cleavage of a signal sequence is required for its activity. Solution NMR suggests that the structure of IL-2 comprises a bundle of 4 helices (termed A-D), flanked by shorter helices and several poorly defined loops. Residues in helix A, and in the loop region between helices A and B, are important for receptor binding. Secondary structure analysis has suggested similarity to IL-4 and granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF).
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