Interferon-alpha 2 produced by normal human leukocytes is predominantly interferon-alpha 2b

J Interferon Res. 1994 Dec;14(6):325-32. doi: 10.1089/jir.1994.14.325.


Peripheral blood leukocytes, isolated from the buffy coats of greater than 10,700 normal healthy donors, were induced with Sendai virus to produce biologically active interferon alpha (IFN-alpha). The IFN-alpha was purified to near homogeneity by immunoaffinity chromatography, followed by size-exclusion chromatography. The resultant product, IFN-alpha n3, is reproducibly > or = 98% pure (to be reported elsewhere). The different IFN-alpha proteins in IFN-alpha n3 were separated by reverse-phase high performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) and the identity of the IFN-alpha 2 isolated by HPLC was determined by amino-terminal sequencing. IFN-alpha 2 was found to migrate as two closely eluting peaks on RP-HPLC, and they have been designated as peaks 1.1 and 1.2. Distinction among the three possible variants of IFN-alpha 2, i.e., IFN-alpha 2a, IFN-alpha 2b, and IFN-alpha 2c, was determined by amino-terminal sequencing of the first 35 amino acids in peaks 1.1 and 1.2. Protein sequence data showed that the discriminating amino acids found at positions 23 and 34 are Arg and His, respectively. The presence of Arg and not Lys at amino acid position 23 and His at amino acid position 34 argues that IFN-alpha 2b is the major component in the Sendai virus-induced leukocyte IFN-alpha 2 and that IFN-alpha 2a is not present. These findings were verified by subjecting RP-HPLC peaks 1.1 and 1.2 to CNBr cleavage, followed by separation of the fragments by RP-HPLC and sequencing.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Humans
  • Interferon-alpha / biosynthesis*
  • Interferon-alpha / blood
  • Leukocytes / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Reference Values


  • Interferon-alpha