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Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2003 Sep 15;95(1-2):73-80.

Cloning, expression, and tissue distribution of bovine interleukin-21.

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National Institute of Animal Health, 3-1-5 Kannondai Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0856, Japan.


Bovine interleukin-21 (IL-21) cDNA was cloned and sequenced from bovine peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) stimulated with 10 microg/ml concanavalin A (ConA), 10 microg/ml phytohemagglutinin (PHA), and 50 ng/ml phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) for 48 h. The open reading frame of the bovine IL-21 cDNA is 459 bp in length and encodes 152 amino acids. The predicted amino acid sequence is 78.2 and 58.5% homologous to the human and murine IL-21 amino acid sequences, respectively. Recombinant bovine IL-21 was expressed by a baculovirus expression system. The bovine IL-21 was processed to the mature form in insect cells and secreted to the supernatant confirmed by N-terminal amino acid sequencing. The recombinant bovine mature IL-21 induced the proliferation of human IL-2-dependent cells, ILT-MAT. The mRNA expression for bovine IL-21 was observed in the spleen, but not in the brain, heart, lung, liver, and kidney. The bovine IL-21 identified in this study may provide new methods for the enhancement of innate immunity in cows.

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