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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cytoplasmic localization of the interferon-inducible protein that is encoded by the AIM2 (absent in melanoma) gene from the 200-gene family.

While interferons (IFNs) (alpha, beta and gamma), a family of cytokines, have the ability to exert the growth-inhibitory effect on target cells, the molecular mechanism(s) by which IFNs inhibit cell growth remains to be identified. Because IFN-inducible 'effector' proteins mediate the biological activities of IFNs, characterization of IFN-inducible proteins is critical to identify their functional role in IFN action. One family (the 200-family) of IFN-inducible proteins is encoded by structurally related murine (Ifi202a, Ifi202b, Ifi203, Ifi204 and D3) and human (IFI16, MNDA and AIM2) genes. The proteins encoded by genes in the family share a unique repeat of 200-amino acids and are primarily nuclear. The AIM2 gene is a newly identified gene that is not expressed in a human melanoma cell line. Here we report that AIM2 is estimated to be a 39 kDa protein and, unlike other proteins in the family, is localized primarily in the cytoplasm. Interestingly, overexpression of AIM2 in transfected cells retards proliferation and, under reduced serum conditions, increases the susceptibility to cell death. Moreover, AIM2 can heterodimerize with p202 in vitro. Together, these observations provide support to the idea that AIM2 may be an important mediator of IFN action.[1]


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