A mouse genomic segment containing three new members of the murine interferon alpha (MuIFN-α) gene family was isolated from a fibroblastic cosmid library. A 4 kb RI fragment contained a new MuIFN-α gene named MuIFN-α8. The nucleotide sequence of the coding and flanking regions of this gene showed a high level of homology to those of known members of the MuIFN-α family. Transient expression of the MuIFN-α8 gene in COS cells and oocyte translation of transcripts both led to a biologically active protein. The antiviral activity was neutralized by monoclonal and polyclonal MuIFN-α antibodies. Although the 5′ flanking sequence shows features characteristic of an IFN regulatory region, the MuIFN-α8 gene is not expressed in murine fibroblasts treated with Newcastle disease virus or poly(I)·poly(C).


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