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J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2000 Sep;20(9):763-8.

IFN-alpha1a gene is the major variant in the North American population.

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


Thirteen interferon (IFN)-alpha functional genes have been reported. A number of these genes have allelic members (variants). In the case of IFN-alpha1, two variants, IFN-alpha1a and IFN-alpha1b, are known. The variants differ from each other by one base change in the coding region, leading to a single change in amino acid sequence and the presence of a restriction site. We have developed oligonucleotide primers for amplification of IFN-alpha1 gene(s) using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Genomic DNA, obtained from over 23,000 normal healthy individuals and from four human cell lines, were used as templates in PCR to amplify the IFN-alpha1 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 IFN-alpha1a is predominant in the genomic DNA of the population examined. Among the cell lines studied, IFN-alpha1a is the only variant found in U-937 and Namalwa cells, whereas KG-1 cells have only IFN-alpha1b, and EB-3 cells have both IFN-alpha1a and IFN-alpha1b in the genome.

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