LocusLink provides access to sequence and descriptive information about genetic loci of cytokines and other proteins. It also references papers discussing the basic biology (function and structure) of the gene or protein of interest.
Clinical Focus Question Cytokines are proving to be powerful drugs, but their use is accompanied by side effects that can be harmful to patients. What are some of the side effects produced by Actimmune, Roferon, and interferon beta? (Hint: Manufacturer's Web sites often provide detailed information on the side effects of drugs they produce.)
1. Indicate whether each of the following statements is true or false. If you think a statement is false, explain why.
a. The high-affinity IL-2 receptor consists of two transmembrane proteins.
b. The anti-TAC monoclonal antibody recognizes the IL-1 receptor on T cells.
c. All cytokine-binding receptors contain two or three sub-units.
d. Expression of the p subunit of the IL-2 receptor is indicative of T-cell activation.
f. All members of each subfamily of the class I cyto-kine (hematopoietin) receptors share a common signal-transducing subunit.
2. When IL-2 is secreted by one T cell in a peripheral lymphoid organ, do all the T cells in the vicinity proliferate in response to the IL-2 or only some of them? Explain.
3. Briefly describe the similarities and differences among cyto-kines, growth factors, and hormones.
4. Indicate which subunit(s) of the IL-2 receptor are expressed by the following types of cells:
a. Resting T cells b. Activated T cells c ._Activated T cells + cyclosporin A
d. Resting TC cells e. CTLs f. _NK cells
5. Superantigens have been implicated in several diseases and have been useful as research tools.
a. What properties of superantigens distinguish them from conventional antigens?
b. By what mechanism are bacterial superantigens thought to cause symptoms associated with food poisoning and toxic-shock syndrome?
c. Does the activity of superantigens exhibit MHC restriction?
6. IL-3, IL-5, and GM-CSF exhibit considerable redundancy in their effects. What structural feature of the receptors for these cytokines might explain this redundancy?
7. Considerable evidence indicates the existence of two TH-cell subsets, differing in the pattern of cytokines they secrete.
a. What type of immune response is mediated by the TH1 subset? What type of antigen challenge is likely to induce a TH1-mediated response?
b. What type of immune response is mediated by the TH2 subset? What type of antigen challenge is likely to induce aTH1-mediated response?
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