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Science. 1992 Apr 3;256(5053):97-100.

Molecular cloning of the interleukin-1 beta converting enzyme.

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  • 1Immunex Corporation, Seattle, WA 98101.


Interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta) mediates a wide range of immune and inflammatory responses. The active cytokine is generated by proteolytic cleavage of an inactive precursor. A complementary DNA encoding a protease that carries out this cleavage has been cloned. Recombinant expression in COS-7 cells enabled the cells to process precursor IL-1 beta to the mature form. Sequence analysis indicated that the enzyme itself may undergo proteolytic processing. The gene encoding the protease was mapped to chromosomal band 11q23, a site frequently involved in rearrangement in human cancers.

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