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Genomics. 2000 Jun 1;66(2):213-6.

Identification and gene organization of three novel members of the IL-1 family on human chromosome 2.

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  • 1Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc., 640 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02139, USA.


Members of the IL-1 family of cytokines are important in mediating inflammatory responses. The genes encoding IL-1alpha, IL-beta, and the IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) are clustered within 450 kb on human chromosome 2q. By searching the EST databases and sequencing this region of chromosome 2, we have identified three novel genes that show homology to the IL-1 family, which we have named IL-1-related protein 1, 2, and 3 (IL-1RP1, IL-1RP2, and IL-1RP3). All three genes contain a signature motif common to the IL-1 family and appear to be more closely related to IL-1Ra. Similar to the intracellular form of IL-1Ra, these genes lack conventional hydrophobic signal sequences. The expression of these genes appears to be highly restricted to various epithelial cell populations. Our results demonstrate the existence of additional IL-1 gene family members within the previously defined IL-1 cluster and point to this region of chromosome 2 as an evolutionary hotspot for IL-1 gene duplication. These genes may prove to have an important role in inflammatory responses.

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