XDanuta Dus 1Agnieszka Krawczenko and 2Claudine Kieda

1Ludwik Hirszfeld Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy, Polish Academy of Sciences, Wroclaw, Poland 2Centre de Biophysique Moléculaire (CNRS), Orléans, France

Interleukin 7 (IL-7) is a stromal cell-derived cytokine that is critical for B- and T-lymphocytes development. It was originally isolated as a murine pro-B cells growth factor and called lymphopoietin-1. Interleukin 7 functions primarily as a growth- and antiapoptotic factor in the early stages of Band T-cell development. When bound by proteoglycans, it could exert a local biological activity. It was also shown that IL-7 is a potent endothelial growth factor and has an impact on the process of lymphangiogenesis, enhancing the expression of lymphatic markers on human endothelial cells.

the six potential N-linked glycosylation sites. The a chain exists in membrane-bound and soluble forms. Soluble forms of the IL-7R are produced by alternative splicing of the IL-7R gene, which is located on human chromosome 5p13 and mouse chromosome 15. The murine IL-7 receptor shows 64 percent sequence identity with the human protein. For high-affinity binding of IL-7, necessary for cell survival or proliferation signal transduction, both a and gc chains are required (Figure 1). On T cells, high- and low-affinity receptors are expressed according to the state of activation of the cell.

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