Natural Killer Enhancing Factor
Tech ID: 20348 / UC Case 1991-543-0
Natural killer (NK) cells are a population of lymphocytes believed to play a role in the surveillance of tumor growth and metastasis and in the regulation of hematopoiesis.
A new factor has been identified that mediates an enhancing effect on NK function. Natural Killer Enhancing Factor, or NKEF, increases the cytotoxic activity of NK cells in in vitro assays, indicating that this product may be used to augment NK-mediated inhibition of tumor development or metastasis. NKEF also enhances interleukin-2 (IL-2) induction of lymphokine activated killer cell function and proliferation. Peripheral blood lymphocyte proliferation induced by IL-2 is augmented by NKEF as well. These properties indicate NKEF may be effective in combination therapy with IL-2 or other cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor or interferon, to increase the function of B lymphocytes, T lymphocytes, macrophages, or NK cells. The cloning of NKEF cDNA yielded two highly homologous, but distinct, gene products. Comparisons with gene databanks reveal no significant homology with known enhancers of NK activity. However, significant homology is found with a murine gene that is known to regulate erythroleukemia differentiation and growth. In addition to defense against tumor cells, the new protein may be an important regulator of hematopoiesis, including erythropoiesis. The interactions between NK and erythroid cells and the presence of NKEF in erythroid cells suggest that NKEF may be therapeutically useful in situations where hematopoiesis is aberrant or under pharmacologic manipulation.
|United States Of America||Issued Patent||5,610,286||03/11/1997||1991-543|
- Shau, Hungyi
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