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Genes Immun. 2009 Mar;10(2):125-31. doi: 10.1038/gene.2008.87. Epub 2008 Nov 6.

Human interferon-lambda3 is a potent member of the type III interferon family.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology, Centre for Structural Biology, University of Aarhus, Aarhus C, Denmark.


Type III interferon (IFN) or IFN-lambda is a recently discovered family of IFNs that signal through the same downstream transcription factors as type I IFN but use a separate receptor complex composed of the IL-10R2 and the unique IFN-lambdaR1 receptor chains. We have established a simple and efficient expression system to produce highly pure and active IFN-lambda of the three human IFN-lambda isoforms (IFN-lambda1, -lambda2 and -lambda3) and used this to compare the biological activity of the different IFN-lambda subtypes. Surprisingly, we found IFN-lambda3 to possess the highest specific activity of the human IFN-lambda subtypes, exhibiting a twofold higher activity than IFN-lambda1 and a 16-fold higher activity than IFN-lambda2. Furthermore, in comparison with the commercially available preparations of IFN-lambda1 and -lambda2, we found our IFN-lambda preparation to be superior in activity.

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