Generation of a variant of human interleukin-4 by alternative splicing

William J. Alms, Sergei P. Atamas, Vladimir V. Yurovsky, Barbara White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A second species of interleukin-4 (IL-4) mRNA was identified using both a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and an RNase protection assay. This novel IL-4 mRNA was 48 base pairs smaller than IL-4 mRNA, which is the size of IL-4 exon 2. Sequence data of cloned cDNA demonstrated that this variant contained IL-4 exons 1, 3 and 4, with exon 1 spliced directly to exon 3 in an open reading frame. The entire protein encoding region of this variant, named IL-4δ2, was identical to IL-4 except for the omission of exon 2. IL-4δ2 mRNA was detected in all human peripheral blood mononuclear cells tested and in purified CD3+ T cells. Amounts of both IL-4 and IL-4δ2 mRNAs increased upon T cell activation, although IL-4 mRNA increased to a greater extent than IL-4δ2 mRNA did. Human IL-3, IL-5, IL-13, and granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor did not use alternative splicing to delete exon 2. We speculate that IL-4δ2 may regulate IL-4 function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-370
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Immunology
Issue number4-5
StatePublished - Mar 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • alternative spicing
  • Interleukin-4

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Immunology


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