Binding of nuclear proteins to the negative regulatory element of the IL-2 gene in lymphocytes from rheumatic patients

E. Flescher, N. Vela-Roch, N. Talal, H. Dang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


T lymphocytes from several autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) exhibit deficient mitogenic response in terms of proliferation and IL-2 production. The expression of the IL-2 gene is regulated by various transcription factors. One of these factors suppresses IL-2 expression and binds to the negative responsive element in the IL-2 gene 5' flanking region (NRE-A). The authors hypothesized that the decreased production of IL-2 by T cells from RA and SLE patients is at least partially caused by high expression of the NRE-A binding protein. To test this hypothesis T cells from healthy donors and patients with RA and SLE were stimulated. Using the electrophoretic mobility shift assay we detected NRE-A DNA-binding proteins in the nuclei of the stimulated cells. No difference was found between NRE-A DNA binding in nuclear extracts of T cells taken from healthy donors and those taken from patients. The specificity of the DNA-protein interactions was ascertained through the use of unlabeled DNA competitors. No correlation was found between DNA-binding and the patients' disease duration or medication. In conclusion, decreased IL-2 biosynthesis by T lymphocytes from RA and SLE patients can not be explained by abnormal expression of the NRE-A DNA-binding protein.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-191
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1999


  • IL-2
  • NRE-A
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Transcription factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Biochemistry
  • Hematology
  • Molecular Biology


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