Regulation of the human interleukin-2 receptor alpha chain promoter: activation of a nonfunctional promoter by the transactivator gene of HTLV-I.
We have characterized regulatory regions of the human IL-2 receptor alpha chain (IL2R alpha) promoter. 5' deletion constructs extending to -327 directed CAT expression in HTLV-I-infected T cells, which express IL2R alpha constitutively, and in Jurkat cells, which express IL2R alpha only after induction. Deletions to -267 and -265 were active only in HTLV-I-transformed T cells, but their activity in Jurkat cells was restored by cotransfection of a construct expressing the HTLV-I transactivator protein (tat-I). However, HTLV-I-infected human osteosarcoma cells do not express IL2R alpha-CAT constructs. Thus cell-type-specific factors are required for IL2R alpha expression, and direct or indirect interaction(s) between tat-I and a specific region of the IL2R alpha promoter may cause altered regulation. Tat-I also augments IL2-CAT expression under some conditions, suggesting possible autocrine or paracrine mechanisms for HTLV-I-induced leukemogenesis.