National Institute of Animal Health (NIAH)

Topics in Animal Health Research 2004

12. Molecular cloning of porcine and bovine interleukin-21 and production of their biologically active recombinant proteins


Porcine and bovine interleukin-21 (IL-21) cDNAs were cloned and sequenced. Both of the open reading frames of porcine and bovine IL-21 cDNAs were 459 base pairs in length and encoded 152 amino acids. The predicted amino acid sequence of porcine IL-21 showed 77.7% and 58.4% identity to human and mouse IL-21, respectively. The predicted amino acid sequence of bovine IL-21 showed 78.2% and 58.5% identity to human and mouse IL-21, respectively. Recombinant porcine mature IL-21 expressed by E.coli induced dose-dependent proliferation and IFN-γ production from a human NK cell line, NK0. Recombinant bovine IL-21 was also expressed by a baculovirus expression system and enhanced the lymphokine-activated killer activity of bovine peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The porcine and bovine IL-21 identified in this study may provide new methods for the enhancement of innate immunity in pigs and cows.
(Immune System Section, Department of Immunology, TEL +81-29-838-7857)


  • Muneta et al. (2003) Vet. Immunol. Immunopathol. 95:73-80.
  • Muneta et al. (2004) J. Vet. Med. Sci. 66(3):269-275.
  • Muneta et al. (2004) Biotechnol. Lett. 26(18):1453-1458.
  • Genbank Accession Number: AB073020 (Porcine IL-21), AB073021 (Bovine IL-21)