The IL-2 pathway, a part of the body’s natural immune response, signals through specific receptors to stimulate the proliferation and activation of immune effector cells.1-3

  • Interleukin-2 receptors (IL-2Rs) are expressed on the surface of certain immune cells including cytotoxic T cells, NK cells, and Tregs.1,2,4

The receptor for IL-2 exists in one of two forms, dimeric and trimeric. Interaction between IL-2 and the dimeric IL-2R may cause the activation and proliferation of cytotoxic T cells and NK cells.2,5

Preclinical data suggest that preferential binding to the dimeric IL-2R directly activates and expands effector T cells and NK cells over immunosuppressive Tregs, and it increases tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte proliferation and recruitment to the tumor microenvironment.2,6,7

IL-2=interleukin-2; NK=natural killer; Treg=regulatory T cell.

View areas of research related to IL-2


  1. Liao W et al. Immunity. 2013;38(1):13-25.
  2. Boyman O, Sprent J. Nat Rev Immunol. 2012;12(3):180-190.
  3. Charych D et al. PLoS One. 2017;12(7)
  4. Malek TR, Castro I. Immunity. 2010;33(2):153-165.
  5. Nelson BH. J Immunol. 2004;172(7):3983-3988.
  6. Langowski J et al. Poster presentation at SITC 2016. Abstract 343.
  7. Charych DH et al. Clin Cancer Res. 2016;22(3):680-690.