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Gene Review

IL12A  -  interleukin 12A

Homo sapiens

Synonyms: CLMF, CLMF p35, Cytotoxic lymphocyte maturation factor 35 kDa subunit, IL-12 subunit p35, IL-12A, ...
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Disease relevance of IL12A


High impact information on IL12A

  • NKSF/IL-12 mediates pleiomorphic biological activity on T and NK cells and, alone or in synergy with other inducers, is a powerful stimulator of interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) production [4].
  • Natural killer cell stimulatory factor or interleukin 12 (NKSF/IL-12) is a heterodimeric cytokine produced by monocytes/macrophages, B cells, and possibly other accessory cell types primarily in response to bacteria or bacterial products [4].
  • Human T and NK cells produce IFN-gamma in response to NKSF, but resting PBL require the presence of nonadherent human histocompatibility leukocyte antigens DR+ (HLA-DR+) accessory cells to respond to NKSF [6].
  • The mechanism(s) by which NKSF induces IFN-gamma production results in accumulation of IFN-gamma mRNA, is insensitive to cyclosporin A, and synergizes with those mediated by phytohemagglutinin, phorbol diesters, anti-CD3 antibodies, and allogeneic antigens, but not by Ca2+ ionophores [6].
  • We have identified and purified a novel cytokine, NK cell stimulatory factor (NKSF), from the cell-free supernatant fluid of the phorbol diester-induced EBV-transformed human B lymphoblastoid cell line RPMI 8866 [7].

Biological context of IL12A

  • The absence of other known cytokines in the purified NKSF preparations, the unusual molecular conformation of NKSF, the high specific activity of the purified protein, and the spectrum of biological activities distinguish NKSF from other previously described cytokines [7].
  • Selective modulation of IFN-gamma mRNA stability by IL-12/NKSF [8].
  • This study has established the critical region of gene loss of the 5q- chromosome in the 5q- syndrome, giving the location for a putative tumor-suppressor gene in the 5.6-Mb region between FGFA and NKSF1 [9].

Anatomical context of IL12A

  • IL12A was amplified as single gene in three tumors and in a subline of the DU145 cell line, SLC2A2 in one tumor [2].
  • Identification and purification of natural killer cell stimulatory factor (NKSF), a cytokine with multiple biologic effects on human lymphocytes [7].
  • Coexpression of the two subunit cDNAs in COS cells is necessary for the secretion of biologically active CLMF; COS cells transfected with either subunit cDNA alone do not secrete bioactive CLMF [10].
  • Although monocytes were found to be the major producers of NKSF/IL-12 in peripheral blood (PB) in response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or to Staphylococcus aureus, several myeloid leukemia cell lines tested did not produce detectable NKSF/IL-12 either constitutively or upon stimulation with phorbol diesters [11].
  • Although the major biologic effects of NKSF/IL-12 have been demonstrated on mature T and NK cells, in which it induces cytokine secretion, increased cytotoxicity, and proliferation, recent evidence in the murine system has suggested that NKSF/IL-12 may play a role in the differentiation of early lymphohematopoietic progenitor cells and thymocytes [12].

Associations of IL12A with chemical compounds

  • NKSF activity is mostly associated to a 70-kD anionic glycoprotein [7].
  • Analysis of the purified protein by sodium dodecyl sulfate/polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis demonstrated that CLMF is a 75-kDa heterodimer composed of disulfide-bonded 40-kDa and 35-kDa subunits [13].
  • However, three lines, ML-3, HL-60, and THP-1, responded to LPS with significant levels of NKSF/IL-12 production, whereas S aureus was effective only on THP-1 cells [11].
  • The efficiency of DMSO enhancement of NKSF/IL-12 production decreased after 2 to 5 days of incubation, when the cells acquired differentiated characteristics [11].
  • Natural Killer cell Stimulatory Factor (NKSF) or interleukin-12 (IL-12) is a heterodimeric cytokine of 70 kDa formed by a heavy chain of 40 kDa (p40) and a light chain of 35 kDa (p35) [14].

Other interactions of IL12A

  • Frequent gains/amplifications included CCND1, observed in 8 of 12 patients, and IL12A, in 7 of the 12 patients [15].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of IL12A


  1. Polymorphisms in Th1-type cell-mediated response genes and risk of gastric cancer. Hou, L., El-Omar, E.M., Chen, J., Grillo, P., Rabkin, C.S., Baccarelli, A., Yeager, M., Chanock, S.J., Zatonski, W., Sobin, L.H., Lissowska, J., Fraumeni, J.F., Chow, W.H. Carcinogenesis (2007) [Pubmed]
  2. Novel amplification unit at chromosome 3q25-q27 in human prostate cancer. Sattler, H.P., Lensch, R., Rohde, V., Zimmer, E., Meese, E., Bonkhoff, H., Retz, M., Zwergel, T., Bex, A., Stoeckle, M., Wullich, B. Prostate (2000) [Pubmed]
  3. Interleukin 12 augments natural killer-cell mediated cytotoxicity in hairy cell leukemia. Bigda, J., Mysliwska, J., Dziadziuszko, R., Bigda, J., Mysliwski, A., Hellmann, A. Leuk. Lymphoma (1993) [Pubmed]
  4. Interleukin 10 (IL-10) inhibits human lymphocyte interferon gamma-production by suppressing natural killer cell stimulatory factor/IL-12 synthesis in accessory cells. D'Andrea, A., Aste-Amezaga, M., Valiante, N.M., Ma, X., Kubin, M., Trinchieri, G. J. Exp. Med. (1993) [Pubmed]
  5. Production of natural killer cell stimulatory factor (interleukin 12) by peripheral blood mononuclear cells. D'Andrea, A., Rengaraju, M., Valiante, N.M., Chehimi, J., Kubin, M., Aste, M., Chan, S.H., Kobayashi, M., Young, D., Nickbarg, E. J. Exp. Med. (1992) [Pubmed]
  6. Induction of interferon gamma production by natural killer cell stimulatory factor: characterization of the responder cells and synergy with other inducers. Chan, S.H., Perussia, B., Gupta, J.W., Kobayashi, M., Pospísil, M., Young, H.A., Wolf, S.F., Young, D., Clark, S.C., Trinchieri, G. J. Exp. Med. (1991) [Pubmed]
  7. Identification and purification of natural killer cell stimulatory factor (NKSF), a cytokine with multiple biologic effects on human lymphocytes. Kobayashi, M., Fitz, L., Ryan, M., Hewick, R.M., Clark, S.C., Chan, S., Loudon, R., Sherman, F., Perussia, B., Trinchieri, G. J. Exp. Med. (1989) [Pubmed]
  8. Selective modulation of IFN-gamma mRNA stability by IL-12/NKSF. Nagy, E., Buhlmann, J.E., Henics, T., Waugh, M., Rigby, W.F. Cell. Immunol. (1994) [Pubmed]
  9. Molecular mapping of uncharacteristically small 5q deletions in two patients with the 5q- syndrome: delineation of the critical region on 5q and identification of a 5q- breakpoint. Boultwood, J., Fidler, C., Lewis, S., Kelly, S., Sheridan, H., Littlewood, T.J., Buckle, V.J., Wainscoat, J.S. Genomics (1994) [Pubmed]
  10. Coexpression of two distinct genes is required to generate secreted bioactive cytotoxic lymphocyte maturation factor. Gubler, U., Chua, A.O., Schoenhaut, D.S., Dwyer, C.M., McComas, W., Motyka, R., Nabavi, N., Wolitzky, A.G., Quinn, P.M., Familletti, P.C. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1991) [Pubmed]
  11. Differential regulation of interleukin-12 (IL-12), tumor necrosis factor alpha, and IL-1 beta production in human myeloid leukemia cell lines and peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Kubin, M., Chow, J.M., Trinchieri, G. Blood (1994) [Pubmed]
  12. Dual stimulatory and inhibitory effect of NK cell stimulatory factor/IL-12 on human hematopoiesis. Bellone, G., Trinchieri, G. J. Immunol. (1994) [Pubmed]
  13. Purification to homogeneity and partial characterization of cytotoxic lymphocyte maturation factor from human B-lymphoblastoid cells. Stern, A.S., Podlaski, F.J., Hulmes, J.D., Pan, Y.C., Quinn, P.M., Wolitzky, A.G., Familletti, P.C., Stremlo, D.L., Truitt, T., Chizzonite, R. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1990) [Pubmed]
  14. Natural killer cell stimulatory factor (NKSF) or interleukin-12 is a key regulator of immune response and inflammation. Trinchieri, G., Wysocka, M., D'Andrea, A., Rengaraju, M., Aste-Amezaga, M., Kubin, M., Valiante, N.M., Chehimi, J. Prog. Growth Factor Res. (1992) [Pubmed]
  15. Identification of individual genes altered in squamous cell carcinoma of the vulva. Kunjoonju, J.P., Raitanen, M., Grénman, S., Tiwari, N., Worsham, M.J. Genes Chromosomes Cancer (2005) [Pubmed]
  16. Cloning of cDNA for natural killer cell stimulatory factor, a heterodimeric cytokine with multiple biologic effects on T and natural killer cells. Wolf, S.F., Temple, P.A., Kobayashi, M., Young, D., Dicig, M., Lowe, L., Dzialo, R., Fitz, L., Ferenz, C., Hewick, R.M. J. Immunol. (1991) [Pubmed]
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