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Bacteriolytic Activity of Human Interleukin-2

P. A. Levashov*, S. A. Sedov, N. G. Belogurova, S. V. Shipovskov, and A. V. Levashov

Department of Chemistry, Lomonosov Moscow State University, 119991 Moscow, Russia; fax: (495) 939-5417; E-mail: levashov@yahoo.com

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received May 16, 2012; Revision received June 2, 2012
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.
KEY WORDS: interleukin-2, bacteriolytic activity, Escherichia coli

DOI: 10.1134/S0006297912110107