# These authors contributed equally to this work.
* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received May 22, 2014; Revision received August 26, 2014
Interferon (IFN)-λ3, a member of the type III IFN family, is a pleiotropic cytokine that exhibits potent antiproliferative, antiviral, and immunoregulatory activities. For further functional study of IFN-λ3, we developed an efficient procedure that includes cloning, expression, and purification to obtain relatively large quantity of mouse IFN-λ3 fusion protein. The mature IFN-λ3 protein-coding region was cloned into the prokaryotic expression vector pET-44. IFN-λ3 contains a hexahistidine tag at its C-terminus. We used Ni2+-nitrilotriacetic acid agarose-affinity chromatography to purify the expressed soluble protein. The purified IFN-λ3 inhibited significantly IL-13 production in stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages. Our findings show that the production of soluble IFN-λ3 proteins by the pET-44 vector in Escherichia coli is a good alternative for the production of native IFN-λ3 and could be useful for the production of other IFN proteins.
KEY WORDS: interferon-λ3, recombinant protein, Escherichia coli, pET-44 vector