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

In vitro and in vivo secretion of human ISG15, an IFN-induced immunomodulatory cytokine.

ISG15, a 15-kDa protein of unique primary amino acid sequence, functions intracellularly as a ubiquitin homologue and a cytokine that induces production of IFN-gamma and augments NK/lymphokine-activated killer cell proliferation and function. ISG15 is secreted from monocytes and lymphocytes, and in this study we have characterized in vitro and in vivo production of ISG15 in response to IFN-alphabeta. Low levels of ISG15 were present constitutively in PBMCs; dose-dependent ISG15 synthesis was observed in response to IFN-alpha or IFN-beta, but not IFN-gamma. High m.w. conjugates, present in PBMC extracts constitutively, were enhanced after IFN-alpha or IFN-beta treatment. Metabolic labeling experiments demonstrated that IFN-beta- induced ISG15 was released from primary cultures of peripheral blood CD3+ (including both CD4+ and CD8+ subpopulations). Furthermore, ISG15 was released from viable cell lines of monocyte, T lymphocyte, B lymphocyte, and epithelial origins. Since ISG15 was secreted in response to IFN treatment in vitro, its levels in the serum of healthy human volunteers treated with IFN-beta(ser) were quantitated by asymmetric sandwich ELISA. Both single and multiple doses of IFN-beta(ser) increased serum ISG15 levels significantly (p < 0.01) over baseline. A maximum 7.3-fold enhancement of serum ISG15 was obtained after multiple injections of 8 million units of IFN-beta(ser). Significant change was observed at 24 and 48 h of multiple 0.02-million-unit injections, yielding 1.2- and 1.7-fold increases over basal levels, respectively. These studies suggest that ISG15 is a novel member of the cytokine cascade that is synthesized and released in response to IFN-beta both in vitro and in vivo.[1]


  1. In vitro and in vivo secretion of human ISG15, an IFN-induced immunomodulatory cytokine. D'Cunha, J., Ramanujam, S., Wagner, R.J., Witt, P.L., Knight, E., Borden, E.C. J. Immunol. (1996) [Pubmed]
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