Interleukin-15 (IL-15) is a novel cytokine whose effects on T-cell activation and proliferation are similar to those of interleukin-2 (IL-2), presumably because IL-15 utilizes the β and γ chains of the IL-2 receptor. Murine IL-15 cDNA and genomic clones were isolated and characterized. The murine Il15 gene was found to consist of eight exons spanning at least 34 kb and was localized to the central region of mouse chromosome 8 by interspecific backcross analysis. Intron positions in a partial human IL15 genomic clone were identical with positions of corresponding introns in the murine gene. The human IL15 gene was mapped to human chromosome 4q31 by fluorescence in situ hybridization.
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