Interleukin-12 (IL.12) is a heterodimeric cytokine composed of two disulfide-linked subunits (p40 and p35) encoded by separate genes. We used the apparent autocleavage property of a 2A peptide from the foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) to express bovine (Bo) IL-12 as a self-processing polypeptide (p402Ap35). We demonstrate that 2A will mediate the cleavage of p402Ap35 into two separate subunits in a manner similar to that observed during the processing of the FMDV polypeptide. Furthermore, this 2A polypeptide encoded a functional heterodimer, which elicited activities associated with IL-12 in other species. We propose that this strategy of self-processing polypeptides may be used in many applications where the coordinated and stoichiometric expression of complex proteins is required.
- COS Cells
- Cells, Cultured
- Genetic Vectors
- Protein Processing, Post-Translational
- Viral Proteins/metabolism