A soluble receptor for interleukin-1 beta encoded by vaccinia virus: a novel mechanism of virus modulation of the host response to infection

Cell. 1992 Oct 2;71(1):153-67. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(92)90274-g.


Vaccinia virus gene B15R is shown to encode an abundant, secretory glycoprotein that functions as a soluble interleukin-1 (IL-1) receptor. This IL-1 receptor has novel specificity since, in contrast with cellular counterparts, it binds only IL-1 beta and not IL-1 alpha or the natural competitor IL-1 receptor antagonist. The vaccinia IL-1 beta receptor is secreted when expressed in a baculovirus system and competitively inhibited binding of IL-1 beta to the natural receptor on T cells. Deletion of B15R from vaccinia virus accelerated the appearance of symptoms of illness and mortality in intranasally infected mice, suggesting that the blockade of IL-1 beta by vaccinia virus can diminish the systemic acute phase response to infection and modulate the severity of the disease. The IL-1 beta binding activity is present in other orthopoxviruses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Baculoviridae / genetics
  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Female
  • Interleukin-1 / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plasmids / genetics
  • Receptors, Interleukin-1 / genetics
  • Receptors, Interleukin-1 / immunology*
  • Receptors, Interleukin-1 / metabolism
  • Recombinant Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Vaccinia / immunology
  • Vaccinia virus / genetics
  • Vaccinia virus / immunology*
  • Vaccinia virus / pathogenicity
  • Viral Proteins / genetics
  • Viral Proteins / immunology*
  • Viral Proteins / metabolism


  • Interleukin-1
  • Receptors, Interleukin-1
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Viral Proteins
  • B15R protein, Vaccinia virus