, Volume 77, Issue 11, pp 1312-1314
Date: 17 Nov 2012

Bacteriolytic activity of human interleukin-2

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In this paper we report the discovery of bacteriolytic activity of an immune system cytokine mediator, interleukin-2. Bacteriolytic activity of interleukin-2 was compared with a well-known bacteriolytic enzyme — chicken egg white lysozyme — by monitoring the lysis of the Gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli, the Gram-positive coccus Micrococcus luteus, and the Gram-positive spore-forming bacillus Bacillus subtilis. It was found that interleukin-2 has greater specificity to the Gram-negative bacterium E. coli than does lysozyme. In contrast to chicken egg white lysozyme, interleukin-2 does not lyse the Gram-positive coccus M. luteus and the Gram-positive spore-forming bacillus B. subtilis. These results give a new understanding of the biological functions of interleukin-2, a regulatory protein that plays a role in oncological and infectious diseases.

Published in Russian in Biokhimiya, 2012, Vol. 77, No. 11, pp. 1567–1570.