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Agents Actions Suppl. 1991;35:85-9.

The proteolytic activation of interleukin-1 beta.

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  • 1Department of Protein Chemistry, Immunex Corp., Seattle, WA 98101.


Interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta) is released from an inactive precursor by a proteolytic cleavage. A monocytic protease has been identified that appears to be involved in the physiological activation of this cytokine. Two situations have been found in which precursor IL-1 beta exists without the monocytic processing enzyme, and in these cases other proteases, such as neutrophil elastase, cathepsin G and cathepsin L, may be involved in generating the active cytokine.

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