A complete cDNA clone of murine interferon-gamma (MuIFN-gamma) was obtained by recombining two appropriate segments from partial cDNA clones originally identified by colony hybridization with rat IFN-gamma chromosomal gene fragments as probes. An expression vector was constructed in which the cDNA was placed under control of the SV40 early promoter. Transient expression of MuIFN-gamma was obtained by transformation of COS-1 cells. Subsequently, this interferon expression unit was linked to a vector containing a dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) modular gene and used to transform DHFR(-)-CHO cells. Cell clones were selected that constitutively produce an interferon activity which by several criteria was found to be indistinguishable from natural, splenocyte-derived MuIFN-gamma.