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J Biol Chem. 2000 Apr 7;275(14):10308-14.

Identification and initial characterization of four novel members of the interleukin-1 family.

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  • 1Department of Bone and Cartilage Biology, SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania 19406, USA. Sanjay_Kumar@SBPHRD.COM


Interleukin-1 (IL-1), fibroblast growth factors (FGFs), and their homologues are secreted factors that share a common beta-barrel structure and act on target cells by binding to cell surface receptors with immunoglobulin-like folds in their extracellular domain. While numerous members of the FGF family have been discovered, the IL-1 family has remained small and outnumbered by IL-1 receptor homologues. From expressed sequence tag data base searches, we have now identified four additional IL-1 homologues, IL-1H1, IL-1H2, IL-1H3, and IL-1H4. Like most other IL-1/FGFs, these proteins do not contain a hydrophobic leader sequence. IL-1H4 has a propeptide sequence, while IL-1H1, IL-1H2, and IL-1H3 encode only the mature protein. Circular dichroism spectra and thermal stability analysis suggest that IL-1H1 folds similarly to IL-1ra. The novel homologues are not widely expressed in mammals. IL-1H1 is constitutively expressed only in placenta and the squamous epithelium of the esophagus. However, IL-1H1 could be induced in vitro in keratinocytes by interferon-gamma and tumor necrosis factor-alpha and in vivo via a contact hypersensitivity reaction or herpes simplex virus infection. This suggests that IL-1H1 may be involved in pathogenesis of immune mediated disease processes. The addition of four novel IL-1 homologues suggests that the IL-1 family is significantly larger than previously thought.

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