Human peripheral blood leukocytes were treated with concanavalin A (Con A) to produce interferon γ (HuIFN-γ). On gel filtration this interferon eluted as a protein with a molecular weight of 45000. In addition to this, the culture supernatant contained an interferon-like protein of apparent molecular weight 22000 (22K factor). The antiviral activity of this protein was neutralizable by a highly specific antibody to HuIFN-β. Yet, the 22K factor differed from classical HuIFN-β in several characteristics: lack of activity on certain homologous and heterologous cells which are sensitive to HuIFN-β; lack of affinity for zinc-chelate and Con A-Sepharose columns; failure to bind to an anti-HuIFN-β antibody column. Moreover, a specific antiserum raised against the 22K factor did not neutralize HuIFN-β. Two alternative explanations of these findings are proposed: (i) the 22K factor is an interferon whose molecular structure resembles that of the known HuIFN-β but it is not identical to it, or (ii) the 22K factor is not an interferon but a protein that can induce the production of HuIFN-β in certain lines of fibroblastoid cells.

Keyword(s): IFN (HuIFN) , inducer and lymphocytes

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