The Myxoma Virus-soluble Interferon- Receptor Homolog, M-T7, Inhibits Interferon- in a Species-specific Manner
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The myxoma virus M-T7 protein contains significant sequence similarity to the ligand binding domain of the mammalian interferon-gamma receptors, and functions as a soluble homolog which can bind and inhibit the biological activities of rabbit interferon-gamma (Upton, C., Mossman, K., and McFadden, G. (1992) Science 258:1369-1372). M-T7, the most abundantly secreted protein from myxoma virus-infected cells, was shown to be expressed in significant biological amounts as a typical poxvirus early gene product, efficiently secreted at early times of infection to levels that exceed 5 x 10(7) molecules/cell, and function as a stable inhibitory protein in infected cell supernatants until late times of infection. M-T7 was specific in binding and inhibiting rabbit interferon-gamma, and did not bind either human or murine interferon-gamma. Scatchard analysis of rabbit interferon-gamma binding curves yielded a single high affinity binding site on M-T7, with a Kd of 1.2 x 10(-9) M, which is comparable to the affinity between soluble forms of cellular interferon-gamma receptors and their cognate ligands. In comparison, rabbit interferon-gamma was shown to bind its cellular receptor with a Kd of 5.9 x 10(-10) M, again comparable to the affinity of membrane bound forms of other mammalian interferon-gamma receptors for interferon-gamma. Thus, the myxoma virus M-T7 protein is a functional soluble interferon-gamma receptor homolog which binds and inhibits interferon-gamma with high affinity in a species-specific manner.
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