Monocyte-derived human B-cell growth factor identified as interferon-beta 2 (BSF-2, IL-6)

Science. 1988 Jan 29;239(4839):502-4. doi: 10.1126/science.2829354.


Soluble products of either Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-infected B cells or activated monocytes promote the proliferation of EBV-infected B cells and permit their growth at low cell densities. This suggests that growth factors are important for B-cell immortalization by EBV. In this study, a monocyte-derived factor that promotes the growth of EBV-infected b cells was purified and identified as interferon-beta 2 (IFN-beta 2), which is also known as 26-kilodalton protein, B-cell differentiation factor (BSF-2), and interleukin-6 (IL-6). The purified protein has a specific activity of approximately 4 X 10(7) units per milligram of protein in assays of B-cell growth. Thus, IFN-beta 2/BSF-2 is a B-cell growth factor that promotes the proliferation of human B cells infected with EBV.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • B-Lymphocytes / cytology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / microbiology
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Division
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoassay
  • Interleukin-6
  • Interleukins / isolation & purification
  • Interleukins / pharmacology*
  • Monocytes / metabolism*


  • Interleukin-6
  • Interleukins