Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • Letter
  • Published:

Complementary DNA for a novel human interleukin (BSF-2) that induces B lymphocytes to produce immunoglobulin


When stimulated with antigen, B cells are influenced by T cells to proliferate and differentiate into antibody-forming cells. Since it was reported1,2 that soluble factors could replace certain functions of helper T cells in the antibody response, several different kinds of lymphokines and monokines have been reported in B-cell growth and differentiation3,4. Among these, human B-cell differentiation factor (BCDF or BSF-2) has been shown to induce the final maturation of B cells into immunoglobulin-secreting cells5–8. BSF-2 was purified to homogeneity9 and its partial NH2-terminal amino-acid sequence was determined10. These studies indicated that BSF-2 is functionally and structurally unlike other known proteins. Here, we report the molecular cloning, structural analysis and functional expression of the cDNA encoding human BSF-2. The primary sequence of BSF-2 deduced from the cDNA reveals that BSF-2 is a novel interleukin consisting of 184 amino acids.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. Dutton, R. W. et al. Prog. Immun. 1, 355–368 (1971).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Schimpl, A. & Wecker, E. Nature 237, 15–17 (1972).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Howard, M. & Paul, W. E. A. Rev. Immun. 1, 307–333 1983).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Kishimoto, T. A. Rev. Immun. 3, 135–159 (1985).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Okada, M. et al. J. exp. Med. 157, 583–590 (1983).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Butler, J. L., Falkoff, R. J. M. & Fauci, A. S. Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 81, 2475–2478 (1984).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Hirano, T., Teranishi, T. Lin, B. H. & Onoue, K. J. Immun. 133, 798–802 (1984).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Kikutani, H. et al. J. Immun. 134, 990–995 (1985).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. Hirano, T. et al. Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 82, 5490–5494 (1985).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Hirano, T. et al. Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (in the press).

  11. Shimizu, K. et al. J. Immun. 133, 1728–1733 (1985).

    Google Scholar 

  12. Sanger, F., Nicklen, S. & Coulson, A. R. Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 74, 5463–5467 (1977).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Maxam, A. W. & Gilbert, W. Meth. Enzym. 65, 499–560 (1980)

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Nagata, S. et al. Nature 319, 415–418 (1986).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. Rawle, F.C. et al. Eur. J. Immun. 16, 1017–1019 (1986).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. Sutton, M. G. S. J., Mercier, L., Giuliani, E. R. & Lie, J. T. Mayo clin. Proc. 55, 371–376 (1980).

    Google Scholar 

  17. Hewick, R. M., Hunkapillar, M. W., Hood, L. E. & Dreyer, W. J. J. biol. Chem. 256, 7990–7997 (1981).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  18. Tsunasawa, S., Kondo, J. & Sakiyama, F. J. Biochem, Tokyo 97, 701–704 (1985).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  19. Taniguchi, T. et al. Nature 302, 305–310 (1983).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  20. Mizuuchi, K., Mizuuchi, M. & Gellert, M. J. molec. Biol. 156, 229–243 (1982).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  21. Gubler, U. & Hoffman, B. J. Gene 25, 263–269 (1983).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  22. Huynh, T. V., Young, R. A. & Davis, R. W. DNA Cloning. Vol. 1, 49–78 (IRL press, Oxford, 1985).

    Google Scholar 

  23. Wood, W. I., Gitshier, J., Lasky, L. A. & Lawn, R. M. Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 82, 1585–1588 (1985).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  24. Gluzman, Y. Cell 23, 175–182 (1981).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  25. Wilbur, W. J. & Lipman, D. J. Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 80, 726–730 (1983).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  26. Lehrach, H., Diamond, D., Wozey, J. M. & Boedtker, H. Biochemistry 16, 4743–4751 (1977).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Hirano, T., Yasukawa, K., Harada, H. et al. Complementary DNA for a novel human interleukin (BSF-2) that induces B lymphocytes to produce immunoglobulin. Nature 324, 73–76 (1986).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing