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J Interferon Cytokine Res. 1998 Jul;18(7):469-77.

A new allele of interferon-alpha17 gene encoding IFN-alpha17b is the major variant in human population.

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  • 1Interferon Sciences, Inc., New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA.


Thirteen interferon (IFN)-alpha functional genes have been reported. Among these, a number of genes have allelic members (variants). In the case of IFN-alpha17, five variants, IFN-alpha17a, IFN-alpha17b, IFN-alpha17c, IFN-alpha17d, and IFN-alphaT, are known. The variants differ from each other by base changes in the coding region, leading to differences in amino acid sequences. We have developed oligonucleotide primers for amplification of IFN-alpha17 gene(s) using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Genomic DNA, obtained from over 28,000 normal healthy individuals and from four cell lines, were used as templates in PCR to amplify the IFN-alpha17 gene sequences. The resulting PCR products were analyzed by restriction endonuclease digestion and DNA sequencing to identify the presence of variant sequences. The results show that a new variant of IFN-alpha17 is abundantly present (approximately 70%) along with another variant, possibly IFN-alpha17c (approximately 30%), in the genomic DNA of the population examined. This new variant, the protein product of which is identical to IFN-alpha17b, differs from the gene for IFN-alpha17b by a point mutation. We have named it IFN-alpha17b', which is the only variant found in U-937, KG-1, and EB-3 cell lines. Namalwa cells have IFN-alpha17b' and, possibly, IFN-alpha17c in equal proportions.

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