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J Exp Med. 1985 Sep 1;162(3):790-801.

Amino acid sequence analysis of human interleukin 1 (IL-1). Evidence for biochemically distinct forms of IL-1.


The pI-6.8 species of normal human interleukin 1 (IL-1) has been isolated by ion-exchange and reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography. The isolated material had a molecular weight of 18,000, and had a specific bioactivity of 1.7 X 10(7) half-maximal U/mg in the murine thymocyte proliferation assay, values similar to those obtained for murine P388D1-derived IL-1 (12), and human IL-1 isolated by a previously published purification protocol (15). Amino-terminal sequence analysis revealed a single N-terminal, and resulted in the identification of 30 of the first 35 amino acid residues. Sequence of three CNBr cleavage fragments of purified IL-1 resulted in the identification of an additional 38 residues. All of the sequences agree exactly with those deduced from complementary DNA (cDNA) by Auron, et al. (18), demonstrating that this cloned cDNA, though considerably different from the cDNA reported for murine IL-1 (12), nevertheless codes for the pI-6.8 species of human IL-1. The evidence also shows that the precursor protein for human IL-1 is largely processed at the N-terminal end. Little or no processing occurs at the carboxy-terminal end. Sequence homology with interferon-inducing factor (26) suggests that the pI-6.8 species of human IL-1 is a member of a gene family. Although equally potent in the murine thymocyte proliferation assay, murine IL-1 and the pI-6.8 species of human IL-1 are structurally distinct. Further study will answer the interesting question as to the relationship of the other charged species of human IL-1 to these distinct IL-1 classes.

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