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DNA. 1986 Oct;5(5):345-56.

Molecular cloning and expression in Escherichia coli of equine type I interferons.


Using human interferon-alpha 2 (IFN-alpha 2) and IFN-beta DNA to probe an equine genomic library we isolated recombinant phages containing genes for equine interferon-alpha (EqIFN-alpha), interferon-beta (EqIFN-beta), and interferon-omega (EqIFN-omega). Sequence and hybridization analyses of these genes reveal that the equine genome contains gene families of each of these three type I interferon classes. The mature proteins of EqIFN-alpha are 71-77% homologous to human IFN-alpha polypeptides, and, when expressed in E. coli, possess antiviral activity on both equine and human cells. By contrast, EqIFN-beta is only 59% homologous to its human counterpart and shows activity only on equine cells.

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