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Interleukin 4 (IL-4) is a cytokine that regulates growth and differentiation of lymphoid and nonlymphoid cells. To study the molecular basis of IL-4 function, we used a cDNA subtraction approach based on the representational difference analysis method. This subtractive amplification technique allowed us to use small amounts of RNA from lipopolysaccharide ± IL-4-stimulated normal B cells to obtain IL-4-induced genes from these cells. We report here on one such gene, Fig1 (interleukin-four induced gene 1), the first characterized immediate–early IL-4 inducible gene from B cells. Fig1 expression is strikingly limited to the lymphoid compartment. B cells, but not T cells or mast cells, express Fig1 in response to IL-4 within 2 hr in a cycloheximide resistant manner. IL-2, IL-5, and Il-6 do not induce Fig1 in culture. Fig1 maps between Klk1 and Ldh3 on mouse chromosome 7, near two loci involved with murine lupus, Sle3 and Lbw5. The Fig1 cDNA sequence encodes a predicted 70-kDa f lavoprotein with best homology to the monoamine oxidases, particularly in domains responsible for FAD binding.
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