interleukin-12 gene

Definition / meaning of interleukin-12 gene

The DNA sequence that encodes the protein cytokine interleukin-12 (IL-12). When introduced as the complementary DNA (cDNA) form into tumor cells by, for example, a genetically engineered adenovirus vector, the transfected IL-12 cDNA expresses IL-12 which activates antitumoral natural killer (NK) cells and CD8+ T-cells and stimulates the secretion of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), potentially inhibiting tumor cell metastasis. This gene therapy may also result in IL-12-mediated inhibition of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and enhancement of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs).

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Source(s):

The Web site of the National Cancer Institute (http://www.cancer.gov/)

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