Recent large-scale sequencing of the human genome has facilitated novel gene discovery. A novel gene, ML-1 (interleukin (IL)-17F), was identified from a human expressed sequence tag (EST) sequence, a genomic DNA clone and T cell cDNA sequences. It was found that ML-1 shares significant sequence identity and functional similarity with the gene encoding IL-17A, but a distinct functional property for ML-1 has been demonstrated. While limited information is currently available, recent functional studies have suggested that ML-1 (IL-17F) is a multifunctional protein with a wide tissue expression pattern. In particular, the potent proinflammatory action of ML-1 (IL-17F) identified thus far, together with its association with asthma, suggests that ML-1 (IL-17F) may have a significant role in the regulation of airway inflammatory processes.
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