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Mol Cell Biol. 1989 Nov;9(11):5062-72.

cDNA structures and regulation of two interferon-induced human Mx proteins.

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Institute for Molecular Biology I, University of Zurich, Switzerland.


Human cells treated with interferon synthesize two proteins that exhibit high homology to murine Mx1 protein, which has previously been identified as the mediator of interferon-induced cellular resistance of mouse cells against influenza viruses. Using murine Mx1 cDNA as a hybridization probe, we have isolated cDNA clones originating from two distinct human Mx genes, designated MxA and MxB. In human fibroblasts, expression of MxA and MxB is strongly induced by alpha interferon (IFN-alpha), IFN-beta, Newcastle disease virus, and, to a much lesser extent, IFN-gamma, MxA and MxB proteins have molecular masses of 76 and 73 kilodaltons, respectively, and their sequences are 63% identical. A comparison of human and mouse Mx proteins revealed that human MxA and mouse Mx2 are the most closely related proteins, showing 77% sequence identity. Near their amino termini, human and mouse Mx proteins contain a block of 53 identical amino acids and additional regions of very high sequence similarity. These conserved sequences are also present in a double-stranded RNA-inducible fish gene, which suggests that they may constitute a functionally important domain of Mx proteins. In contrast to mouse Mx1 protein, which accumulates in the nuclei of IFN-treated mouse cells, the two human Mx proteins both accumulate in the cytoplasm of IFN-treated cells.

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