IL-3 is a glycoprotein cytokine involved in the hematopoietic response to infectious, immunologic, and inflammatory stimuli. In addition, clinical administration of recombinant IL-3 augments recovery in states of natural and treatment-related marrow failure. IL-3 acts by binding to high affinity cell surface receptors present on hematopoietic cells. To determine the site(s) at which IL-3 binds to it receptor, we analyzed a series of interspecies chimera of the growth factor for species-specific receptor binding and biological activity. The results suggest that IL-3 binds to its receptor and triggers a proliferative stimulus through two noncontiguous helical domains located near the amino terminus and the carboxy terminus of the molecule. To corroborate these findings, we have also mapped the binding epitopes of 10 mAb of human or murine IL-3, and have defined four distinct epitopes. Two of these epitopes comprise the amino-terminal receptor binding domain. A third epitope corresponds to the carboxy-terminal receptor interactive domain, and the fourth epitope, apparently not involved in the interaction of IL-3 and its receptor, lies between these sites. And on the basis of sandwich immunoassays using pairs of these mAbs, the two receptor interactive regions appear to reside in close juxtaposition in the tertiary structure of the molecule. These results provide a correlation of the structure-function relationships of IL-3 that should prove useful in evaluating the details of IL-3-IL-3 receptor interaction and in the rational design of clinically useful derivatives of this growth factor.
K Kaushansky, S G Shoemaker, V C Broudy, N L Lin, J V Matous, E M Alderman, J D Aghajanian, P J Szklut, R E VanDyke, M K Pearce