Human macrophage migration inhibition factor: evidence for subunit structure

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Science  20 Jul 1979:
Vol. 205, Issue 4403, pp. 300-301
DOI: 10.1126/science.377487


Macrophage migration inhibition factor (MIF) derived from human lymphoid cell lines was found to lose biologic activity on dialysis. Although activity was not recovered in the dialyzate, mixing experiments demonstrated that the components in the retentate and dialyzate could reassociate to restore activity. The fragment of larger molecular weight (less than 10,000) could inhibit the activity of intact MIF, whereas the smaller molecular weight fragment (5,000 to 10,000) could not. These findings suggest that human MIF is composed of at least two noncovalently linked subunits. In analogy to the situation for certain bacterial toxins, one of these may represent an attachment piece for a target cell membrane receptor.