, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 337-345


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Interleukin-3 (IL-3) is a hemopoietic growth factor involved in the survival, proliferation and differentiation of multipotent hemopoietic cells. In five mammalian species, including man, the gene encoding IL-3 has been isolated and expressed to yield the mature recombinant proteins. The human IL-3 gene encodes a protein of 133 amino acids with two conserved cysteine residues and 2 potential N-linked glycosylation sites; human native IL-3 has not been characterized. Comparison of the IL-3 genes revealed a more rapid evolutionary divergence than has been observed for other hemopoietic growth factors, and, hence, a more pronounced species specificity of the functional proteins was found. In agreement with its stimulatory action on immature multipotent cells, thein vivo actions of homologous recombinant IL-3 in nonhuman primates include a highly increased production of blood cells along the neutrophilic, eosinophilic and basophilic granulocyte as well as the monocyte, red cell and platelet lineages.