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Saturation mutagenesis of the human interleukin 6 receptor-binding site: implications for its three-dimensional structure.

By R Savino, A Lahm, M Giorgio, A Cabibbo, A Tramontano and G Ciliberto


Interleukin 6 is a 184-aa polypeptide postulated to belong to the class of helical cytokines. We built a three-dimensional model of human interleukin 6 based on the similarity of its hydrophobicity pattern with that of other cytokines and on the x-ray structure of growth hormone, interleukin 2, interleukin 4, interferon beta, and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor. The resulting model is a bundle of four alpha-helices and suggests possible alternative conformations for the 9 C-terminal amino acids; in this region, the importance of Arg-182 and Met-184 for biological activity has been demonstrated [Lutticken, C., Kruttgen, A., Moller, C., Heinrich, P.C. & Rose-John, S. (1991) FEBS Lett. 282, 265-267]. Therefore, we generated a large collection of single-amino acid variants in residues 175-181. Analysis of their biological activity in two systems and the receptor binding properties of a subset of the mutants indicates that the entire region is involved in forming the receptor binding surface and supports the hypothesis that this region does not assume an alpha-helical conformation. Remarkably, we also found a mutant with receptor affinity and biological activity much higher than wild type; the potential therapeutical value of this finding is discussed

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1993
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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