Interferon-beta 1 (IFN-beta 1) complementary DNA was used as a hybridization probe to isolate human genomic DNA clones lambda B3 and lambda B4 from a human genomic DNA library. Blot-hybridization procedures and partial nucleotide sequencing revealed that lambda B3 is related to IFN-beta 1 (and more distantly to IFN-alpha 1). Analyses of DNA obtained from a panel of human-rodent somatic cell hybrids that were probed with DNA derived from lambda B3 showed that lambda B3 is on human chromosome 2. Similar experiments indicated that lambda B4 is not on human chromosomes 2, 5, or 9. The finding that DNA related to the IFN-beta 1 gene (and IFN-alpha 1 gene) is dispersed in the human genome raises new questions about the origins of the interferon genes.

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