We have studied the appearance of human interferon-β (HuIFN-β) as well as its mRNA in cells treated with a protein, 22K factor, isolated from the culture supernatant of mitogen-stimulated human peripheral blood leukocytes. By itself 22K was found to be unable to induce production of significant amounts of HuIFN-β protein. However, when aided by treatment with cycloheximide or cycloheximide and actinomycin D (superinduction), 22K caused increases in production ranging from 3- to 20-fold, depending on the cells (diploid or MG-63 osteosarcoma) and the induction schedule. Cells treated with 22K alone produced small amounts of HuIFN-β mRNA, which was only detectable with a highly sensitive method. In combination with cycloheximide, 22K induced levels of mRNA detectable with less sensitive methods as well. These experiments provide further support for the concept that the antiviral activity of 22K is mediated by its ability to stimulate transcription of the HuIFN-β gene in cells.


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