Engineered IL-10 variants elicit potent immunomodulatory effects at low ligand doses

Claire Gorby, Junel Sotolongo Bellón, Stephan Wilmes, Walid Warda, Elizabeth Pohler, Paul K. Fyfe, Adeline Cozzani, Christophe Ferrand, Mark R. Walter, Suman Mitra, Jacob Piehler, Ignacio Moraga (Lead / Corresponding author)

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43 Citations (Scopus)
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Interleukin-10 (IL-10) is a dimeric cytokine with both immunosuppressive and immunostimulatory activities; however, IL-10-based therapies have shown only marginal clinical benefits. Here, we explored whether the stability of the IL-10 receptor complex contributes to the immunomodulatory potency of IL-10. We generated an IL-10 mutant with enhanced affinity for its IL-10Rβ receptor using yeast surface display. Compared to the wild-type cytokine, the affinity-enhanced IL-10 variants recruited IL-10Rβ more efficiently into active cell surface signaling complexes and triggered greater STAT1 and STAT3 activation in human monocytes and CD8+ T cells. These effects, in turn, led to more robust induction of IL-10-mediated gene expression programs at low ligand concentrations in both human cell subsets. IL-10-regulated genes are involved in monocyte energy homeostasis, migration, and trafficking and in CD8+ T cell exhaustion. At nonsaturating doses, IL-10 did not induce key components of its gene expression program, which may explain its lack of efficacy in clinical settings. Our engineered IL-10 variant showed a more robust bioactivity profile than that of wild-type IL-10 at low doses in monocytes and CD8+ T cells. Moreover, CAR-modified T cells expanded with the engineered IL-10 variant displayed superior cytolytic activity than those expanded with wild-type IL-10. Our study provides insights into how IL-10 receptor complex stability fine-tunes IL-10 biology and opens new opportunities to revitalize failed IL-10 therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereabc0653
Number of pages19
JournalScience Signaling
Issue number649
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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